To be frank, Newport Pell Bridge is the Rhode Island icon. It's so beloved on Instagram that it has it's own hashtag: #ThatNPTBridge. And if you ask anyone who's made the 2.1-mile journey across it, they'll often explain it conjures the same feeling you get when you exhale deeply.
Built between 1966 and 1969, the bridge was originally constructed to replace a ferry service. After 3 years and $57 million, the Newport Bridge (officially named the Newport Claiborne Pell Bridge after U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell in 1992) officially opened to traffic on June 28, 1969 with a ceremony at the toll plaza. It's 400-foot wide navigation channel and 215 feet of vertical clearance were designed to accommodate the Navy's largest ships. Today, it remains the longest suspension bridge in New England.
FAST FACTS: THE NEWPORT PELL BRIDGE
Constructed between 1966 and 1969
Opened to traffic on June 28, 1969
Total Length: 11,247 feet
Tower Height: 400 feet above water level
Weight of steel used in the construction of the suspended structure: 23,280 tons
Total length of wires used to support the bridge: 8,000 miles
50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION DETAILS
On Friday, June 28, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will celebrate 50 years of the Newport Bridge during a celebration at Fort Adams State Park. Free and open to the public, visitors can enjoy food trucks, music from Take It to the Bridge (see what they did there), lawn activities, touch a RITBA truck, build-a-bridge workshop, exhibits of bridge history and engineering, and a fireworks display at 9:15 PM.
When: Friday, June 28, 2019
Time: 6:00 - 10:00 PM
Where: Fort Adams State Park
Rain Date: Sunday, June 30
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