BURRILLVILLE – Those who questioned assertions from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation that the Mohegan Bridge would reopen to two-way traffic by the end of the year will not be surprised.
Officials from RIDOT told NRI NOW this week that the reopening of the Burrillville bridge, which has been closed for nearly a year, has been postponed through the end of January. The news follows assurances from RIDOT Director Peter Alviti early this month that travel on the structure, which previously carried 15,200 vehicles a day along Route 102 over the Branch River, would resume by the end of December.
The 226-foot steel structure was built in 1966 and had been deemed structurally deficient prior to the $10.6 million replacement project. Repairs began in April of 2021, and the bridge was completely closed to make way for the construction project last January.
According to RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin, the delay is due to non-performance by contractor John Rocchio Corporation.
“RIDOT in late November received assurances from John Rocchio Corporation that the bridge would be completed and open to traffic by the end of this year,” St. Martin said. “They did not complete installation of the new concrete deck, according to their contract schedule, which has caused a delay in the opening.”
St. Martin said the department plans to seek liquidated damages against the corporation for an amount to be determined.
“RIDOT apologizes for this inconvenience, and will continue to work with the contractor to get the bridge open as soon as possible,” St. Martin said. “Dependent upon weather, the contractor has now committed to opening the bridge by the end of January.”
For now, it seems drivers will continue to follow detours along East Avenue and Douglas Turnpike. The project is set to include resurfacing of 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 fully installed before the bridge is deemed complete, according to the spokesman.
“We will update the public on this new schedule,” St. Martin said.