Mechanicsburg, Pa. — The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) selected bridge engineering and design firm Modjeski and Masters to inspect multiple bridges under RITBA jurisdiction. The project’s centerpiece will be on-call bridge inspection services for the Claiborne Pell Bridge, more commonly known as the Newport Bridge. Other structures include the Mount Hope, Sakonnet River and Jamestown Verrazzano Bridges.

The Newport Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay. It connects RI 138 between the towns of Newport and Jamestown. Opened in 1969, the bridge has a total length of 11,248 feet with a main suspension span of 1,600 feet. Featured on the state’s quarter, the bridge is of immense cultural importance to Rhode Island.

Modjeski and Masters will provide “hands-on” inspection of the bridge’s structural members and biennial in-depth structural integrity inspections in accordance with National Bridge Inspection Standards. 

“Modjeski and Masters employs innovative Technical and Rope Access (TARA) techniques that can reduce the overall cost of inspections while keeping the bridge open to traffic,” said Michael F. Britt, P.E., senior vice president and director of business development at Modjeski and Masters. “For a suspension span such as the Newport Bridge, we can deploy our TARA teams to complete ‘hands-on’ testing without the use of expensive equipment or closing lanes on the bridge. These expertly trained engineers use advanced climbing techniques to scale and rappel towers, cables and other structural members. They can get closer and spend more time inspecting than a traditional lift or ‘snooper’ inspection.”

Modjeski and Masters is also eligible to provide various inspection services for the Mount Hope Bridge (a suspension bridge), the Sakonnet River Bridge (a steel box girder bridge) and the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge (a concrete box girder bridge). The exact bridges to be inspected are still to be determined.

These projects continue the close relationship between RITBA and Modjeski and Masters that previously included multiple fracture critical and routine inspections.