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Officials mark 50th anniversary of Claiborne Pell Bridge

June 29, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has marked the 50th anniversary of the Claiborne Pell Bridge.

Known as the Newport Bridge, it connects Jamestown and Newport. Officials held a ceremony Friday at the toll plaza, followed by an official rededication ceremony at Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina with members of Congress.

RITBA says the 11,250-foot-long bridge crossing Narragansett Bay remains the longest suspension bridge in New England.

It opened to traffic June 28, 1969. Buddy Croft, executive director of RITBA, called it an “engineering marvel.”

It’s named after the late Democratic U.S. Sen. Pell. Pell represented Rhode Island in the Senate for 36 years. He was the force behind a grant program that has helped many Americans attend college.

RIPTA says private donations were used for the anniversary events.

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