Sakonnet River Bridge Demolition:
Portsmouth/Tiveron, R.I. (WPRI) – The latest phase in the Old Sakonnet River Bridge demolition has closed the Channel to all marine traffic for approximately one month, according to the RIDOT.
The marine restrictions went into place this week and will remain that way 24 hours a day.
The center of the channel is now blocked by two large barges. Later in March, the DOT plans to lower the center truss segment of the old bridge onto the barges and remove it.
The Department began removing concrete deck segments and steel from the bridge in 2017, working from the Tiverton side of the bridge toward the Portsmouth side.
The bridge, which originally opened in 1956, allowed motorists to travel between Tiverton and Portsmouth on Route 24 for over 60 years.
It closed in 2012, when the new Sakonnet River Bridge opened to commuters.
The demolition was originally planned for the end of 2013, but the DOT had some environmental concerns which delayed the project.
During the demolition crews will be removing nearly 6.2 million pounds of steel and 2,700 cubic yards of concrete stretching across 17 spans between the bridge’s piers.
$15 million for this phase alone.
Phase 1 is expected to be completed by this summer.
It’s unclear how long and how much the 2nd phase of the demolition will cost. During that phase, crews will remove “in-water and land-based substructure elements,” according to RIDOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin.
Officials are considering using explosives to demolish the substructure elements, similar to those used to demolish the Jamestown Bridge.