PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has completed its inspection of the Crook Point Bascule Bridge after the structure caught fire last month.
On June 29, the bridge, which has been stuck in the upright position for more than four decades, could be seen burning from miles away as firefighters scrambled to get to the source of the flames.
Findings show the fire did not cause any major damage to the steel superstructure of the bridge, RIDOT said, adding that the channel underneath it is safe for boaters.
The agency said they completed a hands-on inspection earlier this week on the 113-year-old railroad bridge and removed roughly 60 pieces of timber that were burned, loose, or otherwise damaged.
The bridge was abandoned in 1976 and left open to allow boats to travel through the Seekonk River.
It was initially scheduled to be demolished, but eventually spared when the Providence Preservation Society placed it on its list of most endangered properties.
With the bridge being deemed structurally sound, RIDOT will move forward with plans to transfer ownership to the city of Providence.
Since the bridge is unusable, the city 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 artwork in place of the bridge’s current railroad ties.