Bridge repairs to begin Feb. 16

With completion by May 2
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 8:15am

The official start date for refurbishing the Mill Pond Bridge on Old Town Road is Feb. 16, 2018. That’s according to Highways Supervisor, Mike Shea, who told The Block Island Times that, “The revised start date is Feb. 16, and the completion date is May 2.” The original, targeted start date for the project had been the middle of November.

“J.H. Lynch and Sons chose to have one continuous work flow instead of closing down and starting back up again due to winter weather,” said Shea, who is overseeing the project along with Town Engineer Jim Geremia. “They are very confident it can be completed on time.”

Cumberland, Rhode Island-based J.H. Lynch and Sons, which was awarded the contract for the project and was one of the contractors that installed National Grid’s cable transmission system, was the lowest of the three bidders on the project. Lynch bid $695,920, while the next closest bid, by Providence-based Narragansett Improvement Company, was $847,975.

First Warden Ken Lacoste said at a recent Town Council meeting that he expects the work to be completed “during the last week of April.” Former Second Warden, Norris Pike, spearheaded the Town Council’s effort in addressing the old, deteriorating historic bridge, aided by consult from Geremia.

At a Nov. 2016 Town Council meeting, Shea informed the Town Council that the bridge was made more vulnerable by a recent rainstorm and that both shoulders were in jeopardy of collapsing. In response, Pike and Geremia filed an Emergency Repair Request with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. The Town Council mandated that Old Town Road be turned into a single-lane road to reduce impact to its shoulders.

The Mill Pond Bridge is located on Old Town Road near Town Hall. Shea said Town Hall will not be affected by the shut down, and residents on the west side of the bridge will have access to their driveways. 

Town Finance Director Amy Land said that the project’s total estimated cost is $821,126, including services such as construction administration, inspection services, Public Archaeology Laboratory documentation of the historical features during construction, and previously expended amounts for design, engineering and permitting.

Land said that $745,000 will be funded through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank’s Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Fund. $296,000 of that is in place, and “we closed the RIIB loan for $449,000 on Nov. 1,” she said. 

Those borrowing amounts were first approved at the 2014 Financial Town Meeting. 

The balance for the project is being funded through the Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018 operating budgets.