BURRILLVILLE – A busy bridge that carries traffic along Route 102 over the Branch River by Nasonville will go from one lane to zero, with complete closure expected starting in January.
And the Mohegan Bridge is expected to remain closed for nearly a full year as the Rhode Island Department of Transportation completes the project.
The bridge, a major throughway between Burrillville and points north in North Smithfield and beyond, was reduced to one lane last April as RIDOT began repair on the structure. Built in 1966, the steel bridge carries an estimated 15,200 vehicles per day and had been deemed structurally deficient.
Since last April, northbound motorists have been detoured for approximately two miles onto Victory Highway at East Avenue and the Glendale Bypass. The $10,400,000 project includes resurfacing Route 102 at the bridge and its approaches, as well as the intersection with Route 7. New guardrail, signing, striping and drainage improvements are also expected to be installed as part of the project.
And as RIDOT moves on to the next phase of the work, both northbound and southbound lanes will shut down.
“DOT has advised that they are closing all traffic over the Mohegan Bridge project,” noted Burrillville Police Col. Stephen Lynch.
Since traffic on the road was reduced to a single lane last year, the department has had trouble with motorists not heeding detour signs and continuing along the road.
Now, it seems, they won’t have the opportunity.
Lynch noted that he was given a tentative date of Thursday, Jan. 6 for the closure. But according to RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin, “full closure of the bridge set to begin sometime in mid-January.”
“The precise date has not been determined yet, and RIDOT will announce the date as soon as it is known,” St. Martin said.
Starting in January, northbound traffic on Route 102 will be allowed up to Burrillville Middle School and the homes just after the school, with a full hard closure just before the bridge.
Southbound traffic will be detoured at Route 7.
“Signage will be in place and advising of these changes according to DOT,” Lynch said.
St. Martin said traffic in both directions will utilize Douglas Turnpike, Victory Highway, and East Avenue to detour.
The chief said the full bridge closure is expected to remain in place until the project is complete in December of 2022.
According to St. Martin, the project is currently on time and on budget.