WEST WARWICK— As of Monday morning, vehicles were allowed to drive over the newly constructed Natick Bridge, after the old one was severely impacted by the floods of 2010.
Director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation Michael Lewis explained at a bridge opening ceremony Tuesday that the construction of the new bridge began in the spring of 2012.
“The new structure was built and it’s operating very well and it fits into the neighborhood,” he said. “The design fits into the historic character of the old bridge and the environmental issues we had to deal with regarding the river were taken care of.”
He said because the structure required a new foundation and piers that were built into the river, RIDOT and the construction company, Manafort Brothers, Inc., had to ensure that no toxic sediments were sent into the river.
“It was a very successful project,” he emphasized. “The cooperation between RIDOT and our contractors was fabulous — issues always come up with construction of bridges, whether its construction issues or neighbor issues; we worked very closely to resolve those issues to get a successful completed project.”
The 80-year-old bridge was ruined by the floods of 2010, accelerating the need for a replacement structure.
“The water was so high that the bridge was actually acting as a dam and there was an uplift pressure on the bridge,” Lewis explained.
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