Work on Union Village Bridge set to change lanes during week of Dec. 12

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – With construction of one half the Union Village bridge nearly complete, officials from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced this week that one-lane traffic over the structure is tentatively scheduled to move over to the eastern side between Sunday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 15.

The $5.2 million project to replace the structurally deficient bridge began last May, with travel reduced to a single lane and a temporary traffic light installed to guide alternating passage. Two-way traffic is expected to be restored next summer, but the project itself won’t be complete until summer of the following year.

The 89-year-old bridge reportedly carries an average of 13,200 vehicles per day along Great Road.

Phase I of the project saw the west side of the bridge demolished, and for the past six months, vehicles have traveled via the eastern lane past RIDOT’s contractors and equipment. The activity atop the structure slowed down in recent weeks as the work moved to underneath the bridge to focus on the abutments and retaining walls.

And in two weeks, construction will move to the eastern side.

“It’ll be the same operation as it exists today with alternating traffic and temporary traffic signals- just switching traffic to the other side of the bridge for our contractor to work,” said RIDOT Community Liaison Officer Sam Guglielmi in a note to town officials.

Guglielmi noted that residents and businesses in the area were notified of the ongoing work last year. RIDOT was expected to monitor traffic conditions to moderate travel time delays and adjust the traffic signal timing to minimize waiting, as needed.

But according to Guglielmi, the department has yet to receive a single complaint about traffic flow.

Traffic will now shifts onto the newly built portion, with the eastern side demolished and replaced,

RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin told NRI NOW last week that the project is currently on schedule.

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