TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) – After a slew of March nor’easters caused repeated delays, crews are getting to work Thursday to continue the removal of the old Sakonnet River Bridge.
RIDOT’s plan to remove the center of the bridge was originally slated to happen in March, but four consecutive powerful storms prevented crews from starting work.
Crews removed the center span, which was lowered onto barges below. The process took hours to complete. Removal of the remaining concrete piers is expected to begin in 2020.
Despite the delay, RIDOT expects the impacts to boaters to be minimal.
Dana Sumner of Portsmouth was one of the people to help build the original bridge.
“My first job out of school was on the foundation of this bridge,” Sumner said.
Sandy Fitzgerald of Tiverton was one of the people who watched as crews dismantled the center span. She showed Eyewitness News a newspaper clipping from when the bridge was first installed.
“I was here when they built that bridge,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s sad.”