Portsmouth also approves resolution for bridge tower lights

Will ask RITBA to install LEDs on Mt. Hope Bridge's superstructure

Posted 8/13/19

PORTSMOUTH — Town councils from Portsmouth and Bristol have both unanimously approved a resolution proposed by local resident John Vitkevich, urging the R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority …

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Portsmouth also approves resolution for bridge tower lights

Will ask RITBA to install LEDs on Mt. Hope Bridge's superstructure

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Town councils from Portsmouth and Bristol have both unanimously approved a resolution proposed by local resident John Vitkevich, urging the R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) to install superstructure lights on the Mt. Hope Bridge for the span’s upcoming 90th anniversary.

The Bristol Town Council approved the resolution on Aug. 7, and the Portsmouth panel followed suit Tuesday night.

For years, the bridge’s two towers — like its suspension cables — were illuminated by incandescent bulbs. A passing barge accidentally tore them off the towers back in the 1970s, however, and the the lights were never replaced by RITBA. 

The Authority has since replaced the cable lights with LEDs, but the towers remain dark. 

With the bridge turning 90 on Oct. 24, however, Mr. Vitkevich is looking to celebrate the anniversary by having the lights installed once again. 

“I think it’s a fitting adornment to the Mt. Hope Bridge to put the LED lights back on,” he told the Bristol council. He also believes the tower lights would help differentiate the Mt. Hope Bridge from its sister span in Newport.

Appearing before the Portsmouth Town Council on Tuesday, Mt. Vitkevich noted that RITBA spent a lot of money celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Newport Pell Bridge this year. The older bridge deserves the same amount of attention, he said.

By obtaining the support from both the Bristol and Portsmouth communities, Mr. Vitkevich reasoned, he felt hopeful that RITBA would oblige. 

With reporting by Kristen Ray and Jim McGaw.

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