The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) this week completed its inspection of the Crook Point Bascule Bridge following a fire on the bridge 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.
RIDOT completed a hands-on inspection earlier this week on the 113-year-old bridge and removed approximately 60 pieces of timber that were burned, loose, or otherwise damaged by the fire.
RIDOT has been in talks with the City of Providence to transfer ownership to the City, and in April sent an agreement to the City to transfer the property for a fee of $1. With the finding that the bridge is structurally sound, the Department will move forward with the transfer and anticipates finalizing it later this summer pending approval by the City, the Rhode Island Public Rail Corporation, and the Providence Redevelopment Agency.
RIDOT acquired the Crook Point Bascule Bridge in 1981 as part of a real estate package that included the railroad tunnel and the former Union Station. The purchase would clear the title for the development of Capital Center (Union Station area). It was built in 1908 by the New Haven Railroad.
Train service stopped in 1976 when the lift portion of the bridge was raised to its current position for boating purposes.
RIDOT inspects the bridge for structural soundness every two years. The safety of this bridge has been an ongoing concern to RIDOT. There is fencing around it, but people continue to circumvent the safety barriers and access the bridge.