Whitehouse, Reed secure funding for bridge project

Providence, R.I. – Rhode Island's senators have secured $2.3 million to help fund the replacement of the Pawtucket River Bridge. Currently, the lowest bidder on a contract for the replacement project is over 80 million dollars.

The weight limit on the deteriorated bridge requires larger trucks to detour around the structure, adding truck traffic to city neighborhoods and increasing wear and tear on local streets. Charles St. Martin, spokesman at the Department of Transportation, says the weight limit will be eased gradually as new structures are added around the existing bridge.

"As soon as we have a bridge that's ready to open, we can shift traffic to that and once traffic is on a new structure, it no longer will be subject to a weight limit," St. Martin says. "So, it won't happen all at once, but the weight limit will be slowly lifted as parts of it open."

He says the project will be completed in full by June of 2013.