Washington Bridge Westbound — Closed

All westbound lanes crossing the Washington Bridge (Route 195 West) have been closed to traffic. Apparently the bridge “was rocking a bit.” This closure affects drivers coming from East Providence into Providence. According to WPRI:

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) abruptly closed the westbound side of the Washington Bridge Monday evening due to the “critical failure of some original bridge components from the 1960s.”

. . . RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said the the faulty components were uncovered by the ongoing Washington Bridge reconstruction project. Alviti warned that, if the westbound side of the bridge remained open, there could be a “catastrophic failure” that could cause it to collapse.

Repairs could take three months. Gulp.

From the ProJo:

[RIDOT] said some pins had broken and caused the bridge to begin swaying.“The failure is such that it could potentially be the cause of a catastrophic failure,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. “So we’re having to act on that.” Alviti said a collapse could have occurred had the damage not been caught.

The detour takes you over the newly reopened, but not really finished, Henderson Bridge. This will feed you onto South Angell Street and through Wayland Square (look at all the nice shops and restaurants — come back later). Then take a left onto Gano Street.

Maybe it won’t be so bad: Remember when that massive fire closed down the 10 in Los Angeles and they predicted that it would take forever to fix it? It was reopened in 9 days. And remember that massive fire that closed down Interstate 95 in Philadelphia? They got that reopened in 12 days!

So let’s contact all those people.

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