BRISTOL, R.I. — A decadelong project to extend the life of the nearly 90-year-old Mount Hope Bridge is about to get started.

The Providence Journal reports that the first phase of the $52 million project on the two-lane suspension bridge that connects Bristol and Portsmouth is expected to cause traffic delays.

But Rhode Island Bridge and Turnpike Authority engineering director Eric Offenberg says the project is worth it.

He says it could extend the life of the bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places another 90 years.

The work scheduled to start later this month includes removing lead paint, replacing old steel, rehabilitating cables and pavement improvements.

The total length of the bridge including approaches is more than 6,100 feet. It opened to traffic in 1929.

VIAThe Associated Press
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