WEST WARWICK - Three years after historic flooding, new bridge is open, allowing direct travel between Warwick and West Warwick.
The Natick Bridge was wrecked by those flood waters back in
2010. It was reopened on a limited basis with a weight limit, concerning people who live nearby.
"Take a look at that old bridge. They've got railroad
tires bracing it up, and you got a crack right up the middle. Comin' across
that old bridge... you're putting the firemen's lives in jeopardy," said Charles Miller, who lives in West Warwick.
"The water was so high that the bridge was actually
acting as a dam and there was an uplift pressure on the bridge and there was a
concern that it was actually being lifted off of its foundation," said RIDOT Director Mike Lewis.
But those worries are gone now, thanks to the opening of a
brand new $9 million bridge, built by RIDOT, right beside the older
It's built stronger than its 1915 counterpart, with better
maintenance capabilities, making it able to withstand future flooding.
"The profile of the bridge is actually higher than the old
one, and so it's been designed to accommodate that kind of flooding event and
be secure," said Lewis.
"Now I feel safe. And I know that the fire trucks will be able
to come across without having to risk the firemen's lives," said Miller.
The final step in this entire project will be the demolition
of the older bridge.