Rhode Island Department of Transportation agressively monitors the conditions of all of its bridges. Bridges showing signs of advanced deterioration are often inspected more frequently than required and RIDOT moves quickly to establish weight limits if a recent inspection yields any concerns about the structure's load carry capacity. If a bridge is unsafe, RIDOT would not hesitate to close it immediately.
The safety and preservation of the Rhode Island highway system is the top priority of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. RIDOT staff is involved in designing, constructing, inspecting and maintaining our bridge inventory, and is committed to ensuring these structures remain safe.
Which bridges are included in the system?
NBI structures are bridges or culverts that carry vehicular traffic longer than 20 feet down the center of the bridge.
What bridges are not considered part of the NBI system?
Non-NBI structures include bridges or culverts that carry vehicular traffic and are equal to or less than 20 feet down the center of the bridge.
What is a structurally deficient bridge?
Bridges are considered structurally deficient if there are elements of the bridge that need to be monitored and/or repaired. It means the bridge must be monitored, inspected and maintained, repaired or replaced at an appropriate time to maintain its structural integrity.
The fact that a bridge is structurally deficient does not imply that it is unsafe. If unsafe conditions are identified during a physical inspection, the structure must be closed.
What is a functionally obsolete bridge?
A functionally obsolete bridge is one that was built to standards that are not used today. These bridges are not automatically rated as structurally deficient, nor are they inherently unsafe. Functionally obsolete bridges are those that do not have adequate lane widths, shoulder widths, or vertical clearances to serve current traffic demand or to meet the current geometric standards, or those that may be occasionally flooded.
A functionally obsolete bridge is similar to an older house. A house built in 1950 might be perfectly acceptable to live in, but it does not meet all of today’s building codes. Yet, when it comes time to consider upgrading that house or making improvements, the owner must look at ways to bring the structure up to current standards.
Ashton Viaduct, Route 116 over the Blackstone River
Hussey Bridge, Route 1A over Wickford Cove in North Kingstown