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Historic Providence bridge remains sound even after fire

July 8, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A historic Rhode Island drawbridge that has been stuck in the up position for decades remains structurally sound after a fire last month, state transportation officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Transportation inspected the Crook Point Bascule Bridge in Providence following the fire on June 29.

“The findings show the fire did not cause any major damage to the steel superstructure of the bridge and the channel on the Seekonk River under the bridge is safe for boaters,” the department said in a news release.

Workers did remove roughly 60 pieces of timber from the 113-year-old railroad bridge that were burned, loose, or otherwise damaged.

The inspection clears the way for the planned transfer of ownership of the bridge from the state to the city, which plans to turn it into an illuminated art installation and make the surrounding area public. The bridge had been slated for demolition before the city stepped in.

The bridge that has remained in the up position since 1976 would not be made functional again under the city’s plan.