- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is looking into installing a flexible barrier to divide the eastbound and westbound lanes on the Pell Bridge.

The authority voted Wednesday to ask its consultant to design a flexible median barrier.

The move to install a barrier on the four-lane bridge has picked up steam after two fatal head-on accidents in a 14-month span.

The authority previously explored a concrete or metal barrier, but rejected that idea because it would make it more difficult to replace the deck. It also looked into a moveable barrier, but rejected that idea because the bridge would have to be reduced to three lanes.

The authority’s acting chairman, Stephen Waluk, says it’s the best compromise that will eliminate head-on collisions.

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