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Sakonnet River Bridge Opens Northbound Lanes

The first cars passed over the northbound lanes of the Sakonnet River Bridge on Thursday, shortening the commute to work for many.

Northbound commuters will cross over the new Sakonnet River Bridge on Thursday, as the state Department of transportation opens several lanes.

According to Charles St. Martin, the northbound lanes on Route 24 will be redirected to the new bridge, eliminating the 18-ton weight limit and shortening the drive with the reopening of exit 5.

In approximately one week, the new bridge also will carry southbound traffic, according to the DOT. 

“With tomorrow’s milestone opening of the new Sakonnet River Bridge to northbound traffic, we will reduce the lengthy detour that the motoring public has used over the past four years,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “We thank the two host communities of Tiverton and Portsmouth for their continued patience and support during this project.”

The new bridge is 2,265 feet long and approximately 96 feet wide. There are two 12-foot lanes in each direction with wide shoulders. Mariners will find a wider passage under the bridge’s center span and the new bridge maintains the minimum vertical clearance over the river of 65 feet. 

Once all traffic has been shifted to the new bridge, work will continue on approach roads on both sides of the span. Demolition of segments of the old bridge must take place before this work is finalized. RIDOT expects construction activities on the segments of Route 24 approaching the bridge to be ongoing through spring 2013.

Joe Sousa. September 20, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Lets never forget it was the State Legislature that took the Gas Tax and Registration money form the DOT bridge Maintenance program and spent it in other areas of the budget. They allowed this bridge to fall apart costing us hundreds of millions in lost revenue for local businesses and tax payers. The State budget has grown to over $8 billion dollars . $3.4 billion for social welfare programs in a State will less then a million citizens. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Put the funds back in the DOT budget and stop the toll plan.
BD September 20, 2012 at 04:57 PM
If we keep sending ineffective, embarrassing TCC-endorsed candidates like Dan Gordon to represent us at the State House we deserve what we get.
Joe Sousa. September 20, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Dan Gordon voted no for tolls and the phoney budget. What more can you ask.
Jim L September 20, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Our Rep to vote no on it for one thing, voting no on the tolls and then voting yes on the budget did nothing for us
BristolRI02809 September 20, 2012 at 09:28 PM
If Dan Gordon and Joe Sousa are the best elected representatives that Tiverton can offer, that town is in BIG trouble.
Jim L September 20, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Bristol. so your good with all the new traffic your getting hit with, it was one of our reps got us here. along with all the others on the island
BristolRI02809 September 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Mr. Lipe-If you're going to post, at least make an attempt to write at a level somewhat higher than a first grader with a learning disability. If you made that attempt, intelligent individuals might begin to understand your incoherent posts.
Frankie September 21, 2012 at 06:14 PM
It took literally 40 seconds to go over. This ride is definitely not worth $4.
Just Another Taxpayer September 21, 2012 at 06:24 PM
It is a bridge not a ride at Disney World
Ralph Doliber September 22, 2012 at 05:58 PM
To paraphrase John Donne- 'And therefore never send to know for whom the bridge tolls; It tolls for thee' ! Gosh Golly Gee-WHOOPEEE- The Bridge is Opening! The Bridge is Opening!! The Bridge is Opening!!! ALREADY Taxed for it and we STILL get the Golden Toll...hard to get excited on this one.. I may certainly be wrong but was told as a youngster that the tolls on the Newport Bridge would cease when it was paid for by said tolls. Does anyone know if that was truth or myth?

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