Federal dollars allocated for old bridge demolition
U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee has announced that federal transportation funds have been secured for Rhode Island under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005, also known as SAFETEA.
Chafee said that of the more than $1 billion that will come to Rhode Island through 2009, some $15.5 mil-lion has been allocated for the demo-lition of the old Jamestown Bridge, which has stood abandoned since 1992.
This funding is in addition to a total of $8 million that was secured by the senator in the past two years and “is estimated to cover the com-plete cost of demolition, as well as the creation of a new public fishing pier on Narragansett Bay,” a press release from Chafee’s office said.
The old bridge is currently in a degraded condition, and the U.S. Coast Guard has threatened the state with fines if the bridge is not removed in the immediate future. The state Department of Transportation favors a plan that calls for demolishing the bridge and depositing the debris through landfilling and the creation of artificial reefs, the Chafee release said.