The newly rebuilt Pawtucket River Bridge was re-dedicated Thursday.
The nearly 600-foot span connects Massachusetts and Rhode Island via Interstate 95. The original span, built in 1958, had become so rundown the bridge had to be closed to multi axle trucks.
Truckers who used the bridge risked a three thousand dollar ticket. Governor Lincoln Chafee remembered those truckers in his prepared remarks.
“There was diversions of traffic and so now we won’t be seeing those poor truckers pulled over by the state police for going over the bridge. The state police that I work with tell me it was always heart wrenching to be giving these truckers thousand dollar tickets.”
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin admired the design of the bridge in remarks to about 50 people gathered beneath the span.
“This bridge is more than just a bridge. It is a symbol for the state of Rhode Island that when you drive into this state we can do things! We can work collaboratively and we can get it done right.”
The new bridge features an art deco design and computerized lighting for holidays and other special occasions.
All told, the project cost 82 million dollars and took just under three years to complete. It came in about 20 million dollars under budget.
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