PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The Crook Point Bascule Bridge lit up the night sky Tuesday, but not in a way that the city had intended when it released plans earlier this month to restore the local landmark.
The bridge, which has been stuck in the upright position for more than four decades, was seen burning for miles as firefighters scrambled to get to the source of the flames, which appeared to span the length of the structure.
It’s unclear at this time how the fire started, or whether it was intentionally set.
The 113-year-old railroad bridge was abandoned in 1976 and was left open to allow boats to travel through the Seekonk River.
The bridge was initially scheduled to be demolished, but was spared when the Providence Preservation Society placed it on its list of most endangered properties.
Since the bridge is unusable, the city of Providence began soliciting ideas for repurposing it late last year. The winning proposal was announced in early June, which calls for the installation of glowing light bars that would display rotating artwork installations in place of the bridge’s current railroad ties.
12 News has reached out to Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office, the Providence Fire Department and the R.I. Department of Transportation regarding the fire, but has yet to hear back.