Transportation officials reopened the Park Avenue Bridge in Cranston six days ahead of schedule. Repairs began in late June due to replace an aging wooden deck that supports the bridge. RIDOT Director Peter Alviti calls the repair a short-term solution.
“A $400,000 project that allowed us to put a temporary fix while we design and build a permanent replacement to this bridge,” said Alviti.
The sudden closure of the bridge in June caused controversy. The closure raised eyebrows because it coincided with statehouse discussion of a controversial plan to toll trucks for road and bridge repairs. And the location near the office of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello further fueled the speculation.
Alviti denies those claims.
“The timing was the timing,” said Alviti. “Whatever other circumstances surround this, the decision to close that bridge was made in a vacuum with the only consideration being the life and safety of the people who use that bridge.”
Crews have replaced the wooden deck under the bridge. But Alviti says the entire span will eventually have to be replaced.
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