Future of Rhode Island’s Crook Point Bascule Bridge Remains Uncertain
Anyone crossing from Seekonk, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island on I-195 has probably noticed the railroad bridge suspended in mid-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 refer to it as the "stuck-up 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 steel Crook Point Bascule Bridge, designed by Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company, opened in 1908 and closed in 1976.
The bridge is 850 feet (260m) in length. It once carried the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad.
The future of the Crook Point Bascule Bridge is in doubt today. The City of Providence was advancing a proposal to convert the bridge into a linear park illuminated with multi-colored lights. That plan is now on hold.
The Providence Journal recently reported that the administration of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is "focused on projects funded with American Rescue Plan money, not the derelict 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.
"The three candidates for mayor on the September Democrat primary ballot support preserving the structure as some type of park and are inclined to pursue the idea that won the design contest vote," the ProJo reported.
Perhaps there is hope for the Crook Point Bascule Bridge.