New Sakonnet River Bridge already undergoing repairs
The Sakonnet River Bridge is only five and half years old, but it’s riddled with cracks in its concrete.
“It’s not the bridge we would have designed and built, but it’s the bridge that we’ve taken on,” Eric Offenberg, who is the chief engineer at the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, or RITBA, told NBC 10 News on Monday. “There’s nothing structurally deficient about the bridge, so most of these cracks are cosmetic cracks.”
The only effect on the public is restrictions to the bike lane, as workers fill hundreds of the small cracks, and then put a sealer on the concrete.
Once that is done, Offenberg is confident the bridge will last for a long time, because the Authority has a regular maintenance program for its four bridges.
The bridge was built by the state Department of Transportation, but then handed over to RITBA when tolls were put on the bridge.
“We went and catalogued every single crack that we could find on the bridge and we came up with our own maintenance plan of what we would do going forward to make sure we could take on the bridge and make sure it would last,” Offenberg said.
Offenberg said the concrete will be resealed every other year, and once a year the bridge will be washed. He has no doubt the bridge will last for decades.