To the editor:
With the new Sakonnet Bridge now open, it was reassuring to read your explanation in the Sakonnet Times of September 27 (p. 3) that the slight “dip” on the Tiverton side is due to a money-saving design change and not evidence, as rumored by some, that the bridge is “sinking”. Perish the thought.
In fact, the long awaited bridge appears to be designed and built as a marvel of functional soundness and aesthetic simplicity. This means it is a low cost/maintenance half mile stretch of open highway that renders the proposed toll absurd and insultingly unfair.
Let’s not forget that this missplaced idea was dropped like a hot potato some ten years ago (when the harmful economic impact would have been of less magnitude) after a RIDOT public hearing in Portsmouth at which the public’s reaction in opposition was already vehement and unanimous.
The small amount needed to maintain this “blip” in this vital East Bay roadway link can easily be raised by other more rational means, federal funding included (a reason to retain it under RIDOT).
Needless to say the designers and builders of the new bridge deserve our praise and appreciation The attached verse is intended as such a tribute …
Sakonnet River Bridge II – Meant to be TOLL-FREE Your phoenix leap begins from a berm, a parapet pressed from gravel and stone, bumped from the edge of the granite ledge of Tiverton – maintaining the highway continuity that keeps this east bay passage open, free.
You rise not from the old span’s ashes, but to replace the decrepit rusting hulk awaiting demolition and a shoddy trip to some waterside junkyard by nameless ship.
The new roadway now sits firm and fast on tubbed steel beams in seamless heft gripping the tops of concrete towers set shoulder to shoulder like triumphal arches, a colonnade of brawny twins marching down to cross the Sakonnet tide to Portsmouth on the other side.
Sculpture in this bridge is innate — Its soul — skilled core craftsmanship that keeps it whole, restrained aesthetics, not meant for us to see, annealed in its cement and steel like the binding threads of a Flemish tapestry.
John J. DaPonte