2012-05-24 / News

Smoothing begins on Pell Bridge

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority board of directors this week approved a contract for $1,035,916 to improve the road conditions on the Newport Bridge. Aetna Bridge Company of Pawtucket will use a microgrinding process to smooth out the multiple concrete patches on the bridge.

“As part of the ongoing maintenance of the bridge deck, we have been extending the life of the deck by patching minor damage to it before it becomes a bigger problem,” said David Darlington, chairman of the board. “This process has delayed the need for a costly and inconvenient full replacement of the bridge deck. The accumulation of patches has left the road surface rough, and microgrinding will even it out and provide a smoother riding experience. Replacing the bridge deck entirely will eventually need to be done, but microgrinding is a process that is speedy and delivers very good results.”

Microgrinding removes a small upper layer of material – approximately 1/4-inch thick – from the bridge deck, leaving a flat surface with shallow microgrooves that help quiet the riding surface. The contractor will add a sealant to the deck, which will act as a barrier to water and salt infiltration that causes spauls.

Aetna Bridge Company offered the lowest responsible bid of the two responses received. Work is expected to begin immediately and to be completed by June 20. The project was approved by the board in April as part of RITBA’s 10-year Renewal and Replacement Plan.

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