2018-08-23 / News

Public comment being sought for Pell Bridge redesign project

Aim is to reduce traffic on span to and from Newport

Jamestown’s state senator and her Newport colleague are urging residents on both sides of the Pell Bridge to actively participate in the redesign project.

“The state needs to hear from residents and small businesses about how each plan would affect them,” said Dawn Euer, a Democrat who represents District 13. “Ultimately, the best plan will be the one that best makes use of smart design principles.”

The state Department of Transportation is accepting public comments for the environmental assessment of the project. There is a website devoted to the project, pellbridge-ea.com, where Rhode Islanders can learn about the project and its status. The site also has the various proposed designs and presentations from previous public meetings.

“This project is probably the single biggest redevelopment project on Aquidneck Island in the last 50 years,” said Newport Rep. Lauren Carson. “Whichever design is ultimately selected, it will significantly change the way people get around Newport.”

The project is intended to reduce congestion and backup on the Pell Bridge, which serves as the main point of entry to Newport, bringing drivers on Route 138 across Narragansett Bay from Jamestown into the city.

Currently, the project is in the early planning stages, assembling information for an environmental assessment and collecting public comment on the proposals. The environmental assessment is scheduled for completion next summer. The state hopes to begin construction in 2020.

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