Getting hit with lights: Abandoned rail bridge in Rhode Island escapes the wrecking ball

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The Hamilton city council may vote to endorse a light-rail network on June 16.

Instead of demolishing an abandoned rail bridge in Providence, R.I., officials are looking to use the span to play dress up.

A portion of the 113-year-old Crook Point Bascule bridge is permanently in the up position, and an 11-member jury has decided to choose a design that includes placing LED lighting on the bridge. The lights will change color and react to people moving to the end of the pier. The chosen design also calls for parks on both banks of the Seekonk River, an enclosure of the East Side Rail Tunnel and a canal crossed by mini bridges on the east bank.

Four other designs were considered and voted on, and two of them called for building new bridges. The cost of the winning design gave it an advantage.

Providence will now have to work with the state department of transportation to obtain ownership of the bascule bridge. The DOT wanted to demolish the rail bridge a few years ago, but Mayor Jorge Elorza and his administration worked to preserve the span.

Officials may decide to put temporary lighting on the bridge so the public can get a taste of what the final product might look like.

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Categories: Bridge/Retaining Walls/Tunnels, Freight, Rail News, Railroad News, Shortline/Regional, Track Structure
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