Monday was a tough pill to swallow for Washington Bridge commuters when the Rhode Island Department of Transportation director provided a grim update on the rebuild of the westbound side.

As engineers took a closer look at the work that needed to be done, they learned the bridge may need to be torn down and completely rebuilt.

The original game plan was that three months would be needed for repairs, but the possibility of a new rebuild is sending a shockwave of road rage through Rhode Island and Massachusetts drivers.

RIDOT Director Peter Alviti and Gov. Dan McKee spoke with news outlets on Monday afternoon about the update.

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Latest Update on the Washington Bridge Construction Project

“We have several consultants assessing the condition of the full bridge structure," Alviti said. “These consultants, what they find, will determine the scope of the work that we need to do in order to correct any deficiencies on the bridge.”

Alviti outlined three potential scenarios that could unfold: repairing the existing structure, reconstruction of various components or a complete rebuild.

What Does This Mean for Commuters?

Right now, it’s the waiting game as consultants continue their assessment of the bridge.


Alviti emphasized how RIDOT has been working around the clock to expedite the project, but as a daily commuter over the Washington Bridge, I’m sweating.

My morning commute from Warwick to Fairhaven requires two passes over the bridge, and without that access, my commute would drastically change, with only a few rerouting options that many others would take with me.

If the consultants deem a demolition and rebuild as the only option, working from home may be the only way commuters can stay sane.

It's unfortunate the state of the Washington Bridge got to this point, and even more frustrating that we are in limbo with plans, but I have faith in RIDOT that team members will clear the way as quickly as possible.

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