The good news about the Washington Bridge crisis in Rhode Island is – well, there is no good news. The bridge has failed due to "significant structural deficiencies" that "cannot viably be repaired," according to Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee.

"The initial cost estimate for the demolition and bridge replacement is between $250 million and $300 million," McKee said. "A new bridge could be completed within 18 to 24 months of a contract award according to initial estimates."

The Washington Bridge is a series of three bridges that carry Interstate 195, U.S. Route 6, U.S. Route 44, and U.S. Route 1A over the Seekonk River, connecting India Point in Providence to Watchemoket Square in East Providence.

Is Massachusetts Facing A Bridge Crisis Like Rhode Island's?
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Due to significant safety risks, the westbound bridge has been closed since December 11, 2023. On March 14, 2024, Governor McKee reported the span cannot be repaired and will be replaced.

All of this got me thinking about Massachusetts and the condition of the bridges here in the Bay State. What I found out is worrisome.

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In August 2022, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) reported, "Sagging investment leaves 644 Massachusetts bridges structurally deficient."

The report states, "About one in nine bridge crossings in Massachusetts occur on a structurally deficient bridge."

"The average Massachusetts resident lives 1.7 miles from a structurally deficient bridge," according to the MBPC report.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says, "Of the 5,281 bridges in the state (Massachusetts), 450, or 8.5 percent, are classified as structurally deficient."

"This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition," ARTBA says.

Drivers Vent After Closure of Rhode Island's Washington Bridge

We were all thinking it, but these commuters actually said it. Now that the westbound side of the Washington Bridge is closed for the immediate future, drivers flocked to the RIDOT Facebook page to let their feelings be known. Here are some of the responses that are safe for work.

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When the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Is Closed, Do This to Pass the Time

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