PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A key suspension bridge in Rhode Island needs $35 million to repair its deteriorating cables.
The Mount Hope Bridge, which connects Portsmouth and Bristol, needs a protective dehumidification system to preserve the cables, the Newport Daily News reports.
Lori Caron Silveira, executive director of the Rhode Island Turnpike & Bridge Authority, said a 2016 inspection found significant breakage of the steel wires that make up the cables.
She said repairing the cables could end up costing more than $300 million if they deteriorate to the point that a parallel cable is needed. Silveira said it would cost more than $500 million if the cables need to be replaced outright and a full bridge replacement would cost $1 billion.
Silveira said she hopes the state will provide funding from its $1.1 billion share of the federal American Rescue Plan, the coronavirus stimulus package signed into law earlier this year.
The bridge authority said the new system needs to be operational by 2026 to slow the corrosion. It said similar systems have been used successfully elsewhere, including on the Chesapeake Bay Bridges and the Delaware Memorial Bridges.
Nearly seven million vehicles annually use the Mount Hope Bridge, which was built in 1929 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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