PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The city of Providence has picked the proposal it will consider to repurpose the Crook Point Bridge, which is unusable and stuck in the upright position.
The city began soliciting ideas for the bridge last October and pared nearly 80 submissions down to the top five back in March.
“The city of Providence is committed to preserving our infrastructure by creating a new life for old architecture,” Director of Planning and Development Bonnie Nickerson said. “Where there is opportunity for structural restoration and reuse, it is our obligation to think creatively about how we can produce useful and exciting new areas that positively contribute to our city.”
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.
The winning proposal from Horsley Witten Group & Jonathan Harris would create new public spaces along the riverfront for events and community gatherings, reestablish shorelines and ecosystems and identify opportunities for affordable housing.
“We are honored to be chosen by the city we love for a project that is dear to our hearts,” a spokesperson for the Horsley Witten Group & Jonathan Harris said.
The most striking part of the proposal are the glowing light bars that will display rotating artwork installations in place of the bridge’s current railroad ties.
“This remarkable vision combines our history with our future, repurposing the structure as an illuminated beacon for residents and visitors to enjoy for generations to come,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said.
Horsley Witten Group & Jonathan Harris will receive a $10,000 award for designing the winning proposal.
The city is still working to transfer the funds that were set aside to demolish the bridge to preservation.
“We don’t own the space yet,” Elorza said. “The first step is making sure we have a plan, we have an alternative. We intend to move this forward and make it a reality.”
Horsley Witten Group & Jonathan Harris does not have a timeline for when this project will be completed or how much it will cost.