National Bridge Inventory: Rhode Island



  • Of the 780 bridges in the state, 180, or 23.1 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one of the key elements is in poor or worse condition.
  • This is up from 173 bridges classified as structurally deficient in 2014.
  • 27 of the structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
  • 117 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 721 bridges at an estimated cost of $1.8 billion.
  • This compares to 719 bridges that needed work in 2014.

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 1961 167,639 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Blackstone St
Providence 1964 157,769 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Amtrak
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 Wellington Av
Providence 1964 156,790 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Narr Elec Co Siding
Kent 1966 154,113 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Jefferson Blvd
Providence 1958 116,900 Urban Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Water St
Providence 1969 76,700 Urban Interstate I-195 WB over Seekonk River
Providence 1953 70,690 Urban freeway/expressway US 6 Olneyvlle Exp over Plainfield St
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
Providence 1984 67,300 Urban Interstate RI 114 Lane F over I-195 EB & WB
Providence 1969 59,930 Urban freeway/expressway US 6 EB & WB over RI 128 Killingly St
Providence 1969 59,930 Urban freeway/expressway US 6 EB & WB over US 6A Hartford Av
Washington 1988 56,311 Urban freeway/expressway RI 4 NB & SB over Lafayette Rd
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
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
Washington 1969 43,029 Rural Interstate I-95 NB & SB over Route 3
Kent 1968 42,100 Urban freeway/expressway Airport Connector over US 1 Post Rd
Providence 1965 40,900 Urban freeway/expressway RI 37 EB & WB over Pontiac 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 6,813 362,215 1 787 43,029
Rural arterial 16 6,275 137,635 2 2,229 18,655
Rural minor arterial 9 2,264 38,281 1 64 5,199
Rural major collector 22 6,385 65,461 8 2,677 30,071
Rural minor collector 23 7,078 22,411 2 315 1,800
Rural local road 31 3,231 17,460 12 1,089 4,600
Urban Interstate 130 216,324 7,523,554 26 56,187 1,745,718
Urban freeway/expressway 121 244,485 3,480,537 33 48,537 1,178,514
Urban other principal arterial 128 126,330 1,915,053 25 21,061 397,947
Urban minor arterial 144 114,551 1,648,194 31 43,095 368,148
Urban collector 87 41,480 420,240 20 8,356 76,449
Urban local road 56 18,312 313,810 19 5,367 46,694
Total 780 793,527 15,944,851 180 189,763 3,916,824
Type of Work Number of Bridges Cost to Repair
(in millions)
Daily Crossings Area of Bridges
(sq. meters)
Bridge replacement 5 $10 19,209 3,527
Widening & rehabilitation 0 $0 0 0
Rehabilitation 714 $1,757 14,745,484 685,581
Deck rehabilitation/replacement 0 $0 0 0
Other structural work 2 $1 3,050 3,633
Total 721 $1,768 14,767,743 692,741

About the data:

Data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI), released March 15, 2019. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work or updated inspections.

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 2017 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 cost estimate is supplied by the bridge owner or the bridge is classified as structurally deficient.

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.

1
from 1 in 2017

in the nation in % of structurally deficient bridges

1. Rhode Island 23.1%
2. West Virginia 19.9%

44
from 44 in 2017

in the nation in # of structurally deficient bridges

1. Iowa 4,675
43. New Hampshire 224
44. Rhode Island 180
45. Alaska 155
Full State Ranking

  • Source: Bridge data is from the 2018 National Bridge Inventory ASCII files, released by the Federal Highway Administration on March 14, 2019. Note that specific conditions on bridges may have changed as a result of recent work. ARTBA is a non-partisan federation whose primary goal is to aggressively grow and protect transportation infrastructure investment to meet the public and business demand for safe and efficient travel.
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