In need of repairs, Big Blue Bug searching for specialist to rise to the occasion

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A Rhode Island icon is in need of a major makeover.

Nibbles Woodaway has been sitting atop Big Blue Bug Solutions in Providence for more than four decades.

Unfortunately, the bug is beginning to show some wear and tear.

“The good news is none of it’s structural, it’s all aesthetics,” Big Blue Bug Solutions CEO Brian Goldman said.

The last time the bug was refurbished was 19 years ago, according to Goldman, and it needs a touch-up.

Goldman gave 12 News a firsthand look at what needs to be repaired. While he said the bug is “not going anywhere” and is structurally sound, there is a big hole in its right wing. The legs are also starting to rust, specifically where they connect to the thorax.

Right now, Goldman said they’re looking for someone willing to refurbish the bug.

“It’s so hard, there’s nobody has ‘we do big blue bugs’ on their resume, so you have to find someone who will,” Goldman said.

The creator of the bug, George Cardono, had previously been in charge of repairing it, but he passed away earlier this year, Goldman said.

“This is a unique, different type of structure … No one is used to this. So when you ask ‘hey can you refurbish a big blue bug?’ they look at you a little weird,” he continued.

Goldman said they’ve received dozens of calls inquiring about the project, but they haven’t made any decisions yet on who will ultimately be working on the bug.

“Our phones have been ringing with people offering to do it for free,” he said with a chuckle. “We are willing to pay for it, we just need to find someone who can do it.”

When asked if the 4,000-pound insect would need to be removed from the roof to be repaired, Goldman said they’re hopeful all of the work can be completed up there.

“The goal is for the bug to stay exactly where it is,” he explained, adding that if anything, the wings may be detached and worked on elsewhere. “If the bug goes anywhere, it’s going to come back. That I can promise you.”

The ideal candidate, Goldman said, would need to be familiar with steel and fiberglass, which is what the bug is primarily made out of.

“We’ve talked to a lot of boating companies, they usually have that fiberglass specialty,” he explained. “Also people that are big into sculpting … those are the sort of people we’ve been talking to and seeing if they can take on a massive project like this.”

In addition to a fresh coat of paint and other cosmetic repairs, Goldman also said the bug will also be shedding its mask, which was painted on last year amid the pandemic.

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