National Bridge Inventory: Rhode Island



  • Of the 777 bridges in the state, 148, or 19.0 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is down from 192 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2016.
  • The deck area of structurally deficient bridges accounts for 20.5 percent of total deck area on all structures.
  • 17 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System. A total of 54.1 percent of the structurally deficient bridges are not on the National Highway System, which includes the Interstate and other key roads linking major airports, ports, rail and truck terminals.
  • 111 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 716 bridges at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.
  • This compares to 724 bridges that needed work in 2016.

County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge Location
Providence 1964 171,707 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over US 6,Woon Rvr,Amtrak
Providence 1964 157,769 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Wellington Av
Providence 1965 157,769 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over US 1 Elmwood Av
Providence 1964 157,769 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Amtrak
Providence 1964 156,790 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Narr Elec Co Siding
Providence 1969 76,700 Urban Interstate I-195 WB over Seekonk River
Providence 1957 69,109 Urban freeway/expressway RI 146 Ed Dowl Hwy over RI 15 Mineral Spring Av
Providence 1957 67,584 Urban freeway/expressway RI 146 Ed Dowl Hwy over Branch Av
Washington 1988 60,875 Urban freeway/expressway RI 4 NB & SB over Stony Lane,Scrbbltwn Brk
Washington 1953 56,311 Urban freeway/expressway RI 4 Col Rodman Hy over Amtrak
Providence 1951 48,800 Urban freeway/expressway US 6 Olneyvlle Exp over Westminster,Troy,Amtrak
Providence 1942 47,393 Urban freeway/expressway RI 146 Ed Dowl Hwy over RI 116 George Wash Hwy
Providence 1956 47,393 Urban freeway/expressway RI 146 Ed Dowl Hwy over Cobble Hill Rd
Kent 1963 47,277 Urban freeway/expressway RI 37 EB over Amtrak
Providence 1956 47,208 Urban freeway/expressway RI 146 Ed Dowl Hwy over RI 246 Charles St
Washington 1969 46,800 Urban freeway/expressway US 1 Tower Hill Rd over RI 138
Kent 1965 46,000 Urban freeway/expressway RI 37 EB & WB over US 1 Post Rd
Washington 1969 43,029 Rural Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Route 3
Providence 1964 42,554 Urban Interstate I-95 SB over Roosevelt Av
Providence 1965 40,900 Urban freeway/expressway RI 37 EB & WB over Pontiac Av
Providence 1970 38,435 Urban Interstate I-295 SB over RI 5 Greenville Av
Providence 1968 36,923 Urban freeway/expressway RI 37 EB & WB over Cranston St
Providence 1968 36,923 Urban freeway/expressway RI 37 EB & WB over I-295 NB
Providence 1968 36,923 Urban freeway/expressway RI 37 EB & WB over Wash Sec Bike Path
Providence 1965 36,923 Urban other principal arterial RI 37 EB & WB over RI 2 New London Av
Type of Bridge Number of Bridges Area of All Bridges
(sq. meters)
Daily Crossings on All Bridges Number of Structurally Deficient Bridges Area of Structurally Deficient Bridges
(sq. meters)
Daily Crossings on Structurally Deficient Bridges
Rural Interstate 13 6,465 362,215 1 438 43,029
Rural arterial 16 6,350 129,581 0 0 0
Rural minor arterial 9 2,258 38,594 1 63 5,199
Rural major collector 22 6,455 72,522 4 1,261 4,718
Rural minor collector 23 4,989 21,286 2 315 1,800
Rural local road 31 3,373 18,535 10 970 2,119
Urban Interstate 129 209,583 7,523,859 16 45,899 1,116,571
Urban freeway/expressway 120 234,495 3,452,831 27 35,613 979,698
Urban other principal arterial 128 121,114 1,951,649 22 18,789 340,110
Urban minor arterial 143 113,182 1,603,621 30 42,821 355,708
Urban collector 87 41,409 419,922 22 9,373 83,803
Urban local road 56 17,760 303,849 13 2,020 28,941
Total 777 767,434 15,898,464 148 157,563 2,961,696
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 5 $16 22,639 3,527
Widening & rehabilitation 0 $0 0 0
Rehabilitation 709 $1,862 14,694,026 661,060
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 0 $0 0 0
Other structural work 2 $11 3,050 3,633
Total 716 $1,889 14,719,715 668,220

About the data:

Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on March 11, 2021. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections. Cost estimates were downloaded by ARTBA on March 11, 2021.

Effective January 1, 2018, FHWA changed the definition of structurally deficient as part of the final rule on highway and bridge performance measures, published May 20, 2017 pursuant to the 2012 federal aid highway bill Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Two measures that were previously used to classify bridges as structurally deficient are no longer used. This includes bridges where the overall structural evaluation was rated in poor or worse condition, or where the adequacy of waterway openings was insufficient.

The new definition limits the classification to bridges where one of the key structural elements—the deck, superstructure, substructure or culverts, are rated in poor or worse condition. During inspection, the conditions of a variety of bridge elements are rated on a scale of 0 (failed condition) to 9 (excellent condition). A rating of 4 is considered “poor” condition.

Cost estimates have been derived by ARTBA, based on 2019 average bridge replacement costs for structures on and off the National Highway System, published by FHWA. Bridge rehabilitation costs are estimated to be 68 percent of replacement costs. A bridge is considered to need repair if the structure has identified repairs as part of the NBI, a repair cost estimate is supplied by the bridge owner or the bridge is classified as structurally deficient. Please note that for a few states, the number of bridges needing to be repaired can vary significantly from year to year, and reflects the data entered by the state.

Bridges are classified by FHWA into types based on the functional classification of the roadway on the bridge. Interstates comprise routes officially designated by the Secretary of Transportation. Other principal arterials serve major centers of urban areas or provide mobility through rural areas. Freeways and expressways have directional lanes generally separated by a physical barrier, and access/egress points generally limited to on- and off-ramps. Minor arterials serve smaller areas and are used for trips of moderate length. Collectors funnel traffic from local roads to the arterial network; major collectors have higher speed limits and traffic volumes and are longer in length and spaced at greater intervals, while minor collectors are shorter and provide service to smaller communities. Local roads do not carry through traffic and are intended for short distance travel.

3
Compared to 1 in 2019

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. West Virginia 21.2%
2. Iowa 19.1%
3. Rhode Island 19.0%
4. South Dakota 17.7%

44
Compared to 44 in 2019

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,571
43. New Mexico 207
44. Rhode Island 148
45. Alaska 141

1
Compared to 1 in 2019

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridge deck area

1. Rhode Island 21.0%
2. West Virginia 15.0%
Full State Ranking

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  • Source: Data is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), downloaded on March 11, 2021. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections.

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