2006-04-13 / Front Page

demolition rescheduled for April 18

On Tuesday, April 18, the center span of the old Jamestown Bridge is expected to be exploded into Narragansett Bay sometime between 11 a.m. and noon.

The bridge's center span was originally scheduled to be demolished on April 11. The date of the explosion was moved because of poor weather last week.

The new Jamestown Bridge will be closed at 10 a.m. for up to four hours. The latest the bridge will be closed is 2 p.m. If all goes well, the bridge could be opened to traffic in less than the four hours scheduled for the event, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Local roads that will be closed on both sides of the Jamestown bridge have been clearly marked by 40 fixed and portable electronic message boards as well as signs indicating the times, detour routes, and boundaries of restricted areas.

Mandatory evacuation is in effect for any homes within the 1,500-foot clear-zone of the demolition site. Homeowners in the evacuation areas have been contacted directly and are aware of what is expected of them. During the evacuation period, displaced residents can visit the Jamestown library, where they can watch a live broadcast of the demolition.

On the morning of the event, motorists are urged to avoid driving in the clear-zone areas. Emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, will be permitted access prior to, and after, the demolition if needed.

All marine traffic within 3,000 feet of the old Jamestown Bridge center span will be prohibited starting at 10 a.m. The DOT recommends that any boats moored or docked within the 3,000-foot area be moved.

The University of Rhode Island Narragansett Bay Campus on South Ferry Road offers a clear line of sight for viewing the bridge. However, the number of spectators will be limited.

The event can be viewed live on Cox digital cable Channel 124. The Highway Advisory Radio System at 1630 AM on the radio dial will also be broadcasting announcements concerning road closures and other up-to-theminute information. For complete details, interested parties can visit the DOT Web site at www.dot.state.ri.us. Safety zones will be strictly enforced in the air, on land, and on the water, according to the DOT.

At 10 a.m. Governor Carcieri, and U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee will make speeches to invited guests at a restricted site on the North Kingstown side of the old bridge. Between 11 a.m. and noon, a tugboat will sound three blasts on its horn indicating a 5minute warning followed in 4 minutes by another three blasts signaling a 1-minute warning. A 10-second countdown will signal the governor to press the button to detonate the charges. Only the media and other personnel in the immediate area will hear the live countdown. The countdown will be broadcast on Cox digital cable Channel 124.

After the explosion, the new bridge will be cleared of debris. A safety inspection will follow. When Route 138 is re-opened to traffic, evacuees can return to their homes and travel restrictions will be lifted.

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