New bridge inspection policy yanked from RIDOT website; gov’s office hadn’t given OK

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A memo outlining new inspection protocols for Rhode Island’s most high-priority bridges has been removed from the R.I. Department of Transportation’s website after Target 12 asked for more details about the policy.

The March 25 memo was titled “Enhanced Bridge Inspections” and was sent to state bridge engineers and inspectors by Robert Rocchio, RIDOT’s chief engineer of infrastructure. It was available to view on RIDOT’s web page for Washington Bridge updates as recently as Tuesday, along with other reports, analyses, and other communications related to the bridge.

However, the memo was no longer available on the page Wednesday morning, and the original link to the document was dead.

“The draft document posted to the RIDOT website had not yet been approved by the governor’s office,” Olivia DaRocha, a spokesperson for Gov. Dan McKee, told Target 12 on Wednesday.

RIDOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin added that the inspection document “was a work in progress that was posted prematurely and in error.” He said it would be posted again with more information “once it is complete.”

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