Underwater Inspection and Evaluation of Newport Pell Bridge
Narragansett Bay – Newport, Rhode Island
Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority
In 2012, W.J. Castle, P.E. & Associates, P.C. was retained as a sub to WSP by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to provide the underwater inspection and evaluation of the 11,247 foot long iconic suspension bridge. The inspection included: forty-three (43) two-column approach piers, two (2) multi-column tower piers with distributions slabs, and two (2) anchorage piers with sheet-pile collision cells. The inspections were performed by a three or four person dive team of certified engineer-divers and commercial divers using surface supplied air diving with audio/video recording from our 24’ work boat. The depths ranged from 35’ to over 120’ with strong currents. The project was completed on schedule and on budget including coordination with concurrent bridge painting operations.
A report was developed, including sketches, soundings, contours, channel bottom probings and topside and underwater photographs for each substructure unit to document current conditions and provide an in-depth baseline for monitoring future deterioration. Priority and routine repairs recommendations were developed for the RITBA to extend the useful lifespan of the structure.