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SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The Dugway Bridge will unite West Kingston once more.
The Dugway Bridge in West Kingston closed in January due to ongoing deterioration and with its closing went the ease of passage residents had in getting to their homes and between the north and south sides of the area. West Kingston was left divided. Yet, plans are moving forward to replace the bridge with a similar steel and timber bridge after the town council approved two construction bids at Monday night’s meeting.
The Dugway Bridge in West Kingston has been closed to all traffic since a state Department of Transportation inspection on Jan. 24, 2011 concluded that it was not safe for any vehicle use due to deterioration in the beams. Previously, the Dugway Bridge, which was reconstructed in 1990 serviced about 300 vehicles a day. Also, in December 2009, the bridge was closed to buses and trucks after a FedEx delivery truck hit the railing the bridge. Although the town deemed the bridge safe for cars after discovering rusted steel on the bridge on the southeast corner, it could not allow heavier traffic. Legal issues regarding the FedEx truck are still pending.
Town Manager Stephen A. Alfred said the town removed the existing wooden and steel structure on March 23 and since that time there has been no ability to cross the bridge. Meanwhile, West Kingston residents, feeling inconvenienced, were left in disarray.
After the bridge's closure, the town had three options moving forward: permanent bridge closure, construction of a new bridge that meets current design standards or replace the bridge with a similar one.
Although they had to contend with months of traveling to their homes without access to the bridge, things are starting to look up for West Kingston residents with the town’s decision to replace the existing steel and timber bridge with a similar steel and timber bridge. Resource Controls, the successor of Siegmund & Associates was contacted to update the original design Siegmund & Associates prepared in 1992.
“We commissioned for an engineering firm [Resource Controls] to redevelopment plans to meet new conditions for the development of a single land bridge,” Alfred said.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.