Lane safety dividers coming to the Newport Pell Bridge - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Lane safety dividers coming to the Newport Pell Bridge

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

It may have been a foggy day on the Pell Bridge, but one thing is clear – safety enhancements are coming.

In about two weeks the Bridge Authority will begin installing yellow plastic reflective sticks know as "delineators"down the center line.

The goal is to prevent head–on collisions.

"If somebody is distracted or  sleepy, or you know, has some issue while they are driving the car – this delineator will indicate to them when they've crossed that line when they are not paying attention," said David Darlington, of the Rhode Island bridge and Turnpike Authority.

The delineators can only warn people, just like these lane dividers at the toll plaza.

But they can stop an accident.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter, "As an added measure, the Rhode Island Bridge and Turnpike Authority will also begin taking photo graphs of people speeding or texting on this bridge, and sending them warning tickets."

The bridge is already under also video surveillance, with more police patrols.

Friends and families of people killed in head–on collisions on the Pell Bridge, like Kenny Prior, say the measures are needed.

"And a car comes right into their lane, at 63 miles an hour. So before they died, they had moments of terror," said John Murphy, a close friend of accident victim Kenny Prior.

Cathy Meunier of Warwick was also killed in that crash.

Her husband says the best solution would be a concrete divider like the one on the Jamestown Bridge.

To put the permanent barrier up; to put a permanent barrier dividing traffic. Whatever it may be," said Richard Meunier.

State officials say the concrete barriers are possible, if the delineators are not effective.

 

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