Sakonnet Bridge demolition delayed

By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Officials say the protection of endangered species of turtles has delayed plans to demolish the old Sakonnet River Bridge.

Plans to tear down the old bridge were announced after the new Sakonnet River Bridge opened in 2012 to motorists traveling between Tiverton and Portsmouth on Route 24.

Transportation officials say the federal government asked for an additional environmental review to make sure endangered species, including the Green Sea Turtle and Leatherback Sea Turtle, were protected.

A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation says the agency submitted the studies to the National Marine Fisheries Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in October. They are waiting for a review and approval.

He says the state hopes to start demolition in 2017.

© The Associated Press WLNE-TV  2015