A critical Rhode Island bridge will need to be demolished and replaced

A critical Rhode Island bridge that was partially shut down over safety concerns in December will need to be demolished and replaced, Gov. Dan McKee said Thursday.

An independent review of the Washington Bridge — which carries Interstate 195 over the Seekonk River from Providence to East Providence and serves as a key gateway to Providence — found additional structural deficiencies requiring that it be replaced, McKee said at an afternoon press conference.

The state must replace both the bridge’s superstructure and part or all of the substructure, he said.

“We’re going to fix the bridge, we’re going to make it right, and we’re going to make sure we keep people safe,” he said.

McKee said his administration is investigating what led up to the need to shut down and replace the bridge.

“We will hold all responsible parties fully accountable,” he said. “The day of reckoning is coming and coming soon.”

Peter Alviti, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, said the new bridge should be substantially completed with traffic flowing between March and September of 2026.


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