Officials mark opening of new Sakonnet bridge


Rhode Island’s leaders celebrating the opening of the new Sakonnet River Bridge.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee , U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and other officials formally opened the bridge Friday. The governor called the bridge an “impressive structure” and said that getting to and from Aquidneck Island is now much improved.

The new steel and concrete bridge opened to traffic last month, though final work is expected to last into the spring.

The bridge carries Route 24 from Portsmouth to Tiverton. The old bridge was built in 1956. The $163.7 million project is the largest in the state transportation department’s history.

The state Turnpike and Bridge Authority plans to impose a toll on the new bridge, perhaps beginning in June.

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