'RFP' reveals details about possible future bike path bridges

'Request for proposals' asks for pricing to build 1 or 2 bridges

Posted 1/13/22

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has issued a request for proposals for the replacement of the two East Bay Bike Path bridges.

The RFP was made public late last month and includes …

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'RFP' reveals details about possible future bike path bridges

'Request for proposals' asks for pricing to build 1 or 2 bridges

Posted

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has issued a request for proposals for the replacement of the two East Bay Bike Path bridges.

The RFP was made public late last month and includes details about the project.

For starters, the DOT has requested that companies pitching for the job include a price proposal for replacing both bridges, as well as individual prices for replacing the Barrington and Warren bridges separately. 

“Due to potential funding constraints, RIDOT may, at its sole discretion, modify the scope of this project such that only one of the two bridges is replaced,” stated the RFP, which is listed on the state’s purchasing website. “This decision will be made after selection of the design/build entity but prior to the award of the contract. In this event, the selected design/build entity will be notified of RIDOT’s intent within 72 hours of notification of selection.”

DOT officials ordered closed the two bike path bridges — one crossing the Barrington River and the other crossing the Warren River — in Oct. 2019. They said the bridge’s substructure was unsafe. 

After ordering them closed, state officials said they could not guarantee the replacement of the bridges. Officials said an unexpected increase in the price estimates left them exploring alternatives to full replacements, including the creation of enhanced detours. DOT officials recently opened two wooden boardwalks that were built on the vehicle bridges. 

But the issuance of the RFP could mark the first step in the replacement of the bike path bridges. 

The request calls for the bridges to be constructed at the same height, or “minimum low chord elevation,” at the centerline of the navigational channel as Route 114 vehicle bridges. 

The new bike path bridge decking must be constructed of timber or composite decking material. Meanwhile, the DOT lists four materials that the bridge structure cannot be made of: butted precast prestressed concrete box beams or voided slabs; precast three-sided concrete structures; cast-in-place concrete slabs; and timber. 

The current bike path bridges are built of timber decking and timber piles and steel piles.

The RFP also requires the contractor, once finished with the new bridges, to pay for the removal of the current detour features. 

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.