Light sabers over the Sakonnet? Spare us!

Light sabers over the Sakonnet? Spare us!


To the editor:

Dearest Governor Chafee, et. al.,

As the meat of summer weather approaches, I would like to ask you gentlemen if you, as I, have enjoyed stepping outside onto the deck as dusk falls, breathing in the cooler air, watching the stars appear, and basking in the natural wonders of our surroundings…

On our dock this evening, the night herons began their squawk a little later than usual, and the voices of fishermen wafting over from the old railroad embankment adjacent to the Sakonnet River Bridge seemed muted, softened by the increasing humidity and the whisper of a gentle southeast breeze as the predicted rains approached. It was another lovely evening on the Sakonnet …

And then the lights came on!? Which genius at RIDOT decided that it would be somehow artistic/clever/attractivre to light up the new bridge like a ferris wheel? Am  I really to spend the rest of my days with purple and red flashing ‘light sabers’ in the middle of my water view? How would you like them towering over your back yards?

Half of them don’t work anyway, so perhaps we have many, many years of semi-operative, badly designed lighting to look forward to?

There have, in fact, been a few positive things occur during the course of the construction of this bridge.  One that I promised Mr. Goncalo I would try to mention prominently was the fact that someone in RIDOT actually took note of the original bollixed up job of reconstructing the intersection of Main Road and Evans Avenue; it has recently been ripped up, reconfigured, and is now much more functional.

Another is the actual new white LED streetlights on the span. They are incredibly effective while driving, and are pleasant in the extreme to look at from afar, especially when compared to the old sodium vapor jobs. Nice to have a thing or two go right, anyway.  Just a few little positives, though, compared to an overwhelmingly negative opinion of this project thus far.

In the midst of the uproar over the tolls (which I fervently object to, and will find every way I can possibly think of to subvert the collection of should they actually be implemented) I can hardly believe that this most recently unveiled blunder has me even more incensed.

Gents, please do consider this an invitation to stop by for a few minutes at dusk and sip a drink, while enjoying the peaceful panorama that is (or was) Tiverton Harbor.  I dare any one of you to somehow not reach the conclusion that these lights are an unmitigated abomination.  .

Besides the fact that they are just plain ugly in the extreme, they obviously weren’t free.  Honorable Gov., howzabout if you start docking the pay of the juveniles who designed them until the state is reimbursed?

In the meantime, please, please, please pull the plug; that’ll save a few pennies, too.

Bruce Epke



  1. I am also appalled by this. Funnily enough I had been driving over the bridge only a few hours before I read it, wondering idly what those glass tubes were. One can only hope that it is only intended that they be lit up a couple of times a year on special occasions like Independence Day; they are otherwise totally unacceptable. Something else foisted on us without any choice offered; who would ever prefer this crude visual pollution to the beauty of the Sakonnet River at night?