Conant Street bridge project stalled again

Conant Street bridge project stalled again

PAWTUCKET - With the massive Pawtucket River Bridge, workers were able to kick the construction process into overdrive to get it done on time in early September. The much smaller Conant Street railroad bridge? Not so much.

A spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said in early August that the bridge, which would reconnect Weeden Street and Mineral Spring Avenue after nearly 25 years, would be done by the end of September.

But Rose Amoros told The Breeze last Friday that officials are still waiting on a part to complete the installation of a gas line. That part should arrive sometime this week, she said.

"We're hoping to complete the project by our winter shutdown period, which is fast approaching," said Amoros in an email.

Amoros would not say what will happen if the bridge is not complete by the shutdown period, or when the shutdown period will begin. She said she'll have a better sense of the schedule once the needed part arrives this week and the gas line installation is complete.

The Conant Street Bridge, which carries Conant Street over Amtrak and the Providence and Worcester Railroad tracks, was shut down all the way back in 1989. City and state officials finally broke ground on a new bridge back in the fall of 2011, two years after liability issues put off the project once again.

The city-owned bridge, first built in 1913, is being replaced through a $4.3 million contract with Cardi Corp. It is expected to play a central role in bringing a future commuter rail station to the area of Mineral Spring Avenue, Barton Street and Weeden Street.

The new bridge will have the capacity to carry trucks of all sizes and weights. It has a shelf life of between 75 and 100 years.