New Natick Bridge Now Open - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

New Natick Bridge Now Open

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Nicole Gerber


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 version.

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.

That will happen next year in the spring.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013



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