Rhode Island will spend $223.4 million on maintenance of 4 Narragansett Bay bridges

Photo by UpstateNYer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7548436Photo by UpstateNYer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7548436

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) Board approved a 10-year $223.4 million spending plan, approximately $22 million per year, for the maintenance of the four Narragansett Bay bridges—the Newport Pell Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, and the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Providence Journal reports.

The Pell Bridge will receive approximately $116 million, more than half of which will be dedicated to repairing the 47-year old bridge deck.

Approximately $51 million will go for maintenance projects on Mount Hope Bridge, $27 million for the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, $13 million for Sakonnet Bridge, $9 million for RITBA facilities, and $7 million for a portion of Route 138 in Jamestown.

“It is extremely important that we remain vigilant, maintain, and extend the life of these bridges so the motoring public knows they are safe,” said Earl J. Croft III, executive director for RITBA, in a press release, according to the Journal. “This is an expensive undertaking but these are costs we must incur.”

Most of the funding will come from Pell Bridge toll revenue and RITBA’s 3.5-cent-per-gallon share of the state’s gas tax. Plus, RITBA approved borrowing $128.3 million for maintenance projects earlier in 2016.