Route 5 (Greenwich Avenue) over Pawtuxet River

Cranston & Warwick, Rhode Island

Originally constructed in 1960, the two-span steel girder bridge on Route 5 over the Pawtuxet River connects Cranston and Warwick, RI, and measures 155 feet in total length. The bridge carries two lanes in each direction with a curb-to-curb width of 48 feet. The existing bridge experienced advanced deterioration of the steel superstructure and widespread concrete deterioration of the concrete abutments and center pier. It was determined that the concrete substructure be repaired, and the steel superstructure be replaced with two simple-spans and a ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) link slab over the center pier.

The project was designed to be constructed in two phases with a single lane of traffic maintained in each direction on Greenwich Avenue. The bridge is located immediately adjacent to the Warwick Mall, which enforced firm restrictions during peak holiday shopping months that all four travel lanes be open. To expedite phased construction, and ensure the bridge be opened on time, prefabricated bridge units (PBUs) were used. Additionally, a UHPC link slab over the center pier allowed the concrete deck to be continuous with minimal supplemental steel reinforcing, concrete, or installation of conventional bridge joint materials.

The deteriorated concrete face of the existing abutments and center pier were removed. Once removed, the existing steel reinforcing were fitted with a galvanic encapsulation system to mitigate steel corrosion and significantly extend the service life of the substructure rehabilitation. The substructure was then refaced with new concrete. Existing abutments, wingwalls, and center pier were retrofit to accept the new bridge superstructure.

Overhead utilities required relocation prior to and between construction phases; BETA prepared a design that brought most overhead utilities underground at the bridge approaches and carried them across the bridge in new utility bays.