New signs aim to make driving on Albion Bridge safer

New signs aim to make driving on Albion Bridge safer

CUMBERLAND - More signs are scheduled to be installed within the month on the Cumberland side of the Albion Bridge in an effort to make driving safer as motorists drive over the Blackstone River by the bike path.

At the request of state Rep. Mia Ackerman, of District 45, Rhode Island Department of Transportation officials looked into the bridge that connects Cumberland's Albion Road with Lincoln's School Street and determined that the two existing yellow and black chevron signs were not sufficient.

They are scheduled to be removed, and eight more reflective chevrons added, as well as signs on either side of the bridge suggesting slower speeds - 15 mph instead of 20. Rose Amaros, DOT chief public affairs officer, said $2,300 worth of signs should be installed within the month to notify drivers of the lower speed traffic advisory based on the geometry of the road.

"This should be very helpful," Ackerman said. "There will be no reason for people to hit the bridge now. There's no way you'll miss them."

Ackerman said she took the issue up with DOT after receiving a petition with at least 30 signatures from residents who had been trying to get more signs put up for several years.

While Cumberland Police Chief John Desmarais said there have been no reported incidents of cars hitting the bridge in the past five years, Ackerman said there are plenty of anecdotal incidents of accidents caused by cars navigating the sharp turn.

But because they generally involve one car with superficial damage and an embarrassed driver, they do not always get reported, she said.

Since DOT engineers assessed the site this summer, Ackerman said, brush on the curve has been cut back, and sand left over from the winter cleaned up.

A DOT maintenance work order that details the 12 new signs and plaques set to be installed states that the existing "Narrow Bridge" sign will be removed, and a 15 mph advisory sign placed 100 feet south of the existing location. The curve warning sign and 20 mph speed plaque will also be replaced with a 15 mph advisory.

A curve warning sign and 15 mph speed plaque will be installed west of the railroad crossing, the report states, to be seen by cars traveling from Lincoln to Cumberland.


As a nearby resident of the area, I suspect part of the problem is the speed at which cars travel approaching the bridge from Albion Rd. And judging from the number of empty alcoholic beverage containers littered along the road that I see while walking, it's likely many are impaired drivers as well!

As a sidenote I'd like to mention the extreme corrosion of the bridge fencing along the sidewalk crossing the bridge. I worry what might happen with further deterioration should a pedestrian lean on it...