BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Starting Thursday, the vehicle weight limit on the Mount Hope Bridge will be lowered to comply with federal guidelines.
The maximum weight allowed on the bridge, which connects Bristol and Portsmouth, will be changed from 40 tons to 30 tons, according to the R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA).
The RITBA said the reduced weight limit has nothing to do with maintenance or the upcoming dehumidification project.
“The modified weight allowance is due primarily to a Federal Highway Administration load rating manual update,” the RITBA said in a release. “It is also required because of an ‘as-built’ design factor which has existed since the bridge opened in 1929. The as-built factor involves the outside girders, some of which were reinforced with steel plates approximately 50 years ago.”
RITBA is working with the R.I. Department of Transportation’s bridge and traffic engineers to alert heavy vehicles that are impacted to detours.
“RITBA is also doing outreach to the municipalities and commercial enterprises affected by the new restrictions to ensure that emergency vehicles and freight carriers are aware of the new weight limit posting,” the release continued.