Future of Rhode Island’s Crook Point Bascule Bridge Uncertain
Anyone crossing from Seekonk, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island on I-195 has probably noticed the railroad bridge suspended in the air over the Seekonk River. It’s been that way since I graduated from New Bedford High School in 1976.
My wife, who grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, said locals call it the “blocked bridge.” You can understand why.
The bridge is the Crook Point Bascule Bridge. It connects Providence to the city of East Providence.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Crook Point Steel Weighbridge, designed by Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company, opened in 1908 and closed in 1976.
The bridge is 850 feet (260 m) long. It once carried the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.
The future of the Crook Point Bascule Bridge is uncertain today. The city of Providence was advancing a proposal to convert the bridge into a linear park illuminated with multicolored lights. This plan is now suspended.
The Journal of Providence recently reported that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration is “focusing on projects funded with US bailout money, not the abandoned Crook Point Bridge.”
Mayor Elorza is not on the ballot for re-election this fall, so the fate of the bridge — like the bridge itself — remains up in the air.
“All three mayoral candidates in the September Democratic primary ballot support preserving the structure as a type of park and are inclined to pursue the idea that won the design competition vote,” said the Pro Jo reported.
There may be hope for the Crook Point Bascule Bridge.
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