September 18, 2014
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Oakland Beach’s Danger Bridge restored
Jennifer Rodrigues
Photos by Jennifer Rodrigues
OFFICIAL NAMING: Mayor Scott Avedisian has a laugh after revealing a stone plaque on the sidewalk of the newly restored bridge, which reads “Danger Bridge 2013,” along with the city’s seal. City Council President Donna Travis fought furiously to convince Avedisian that was indeed the name of the bridge as she campaigned for its restoration.

Despite windy, rainy weather, City Council President Donna Travis could not contain her happiness and excitement during Friday afternoon’s ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly restored Danger Bridge in Oakland Beach.

“It’s like a baby being born,” said Travis with a laugh before the ribbon cutting.

Travis moved to Oakland beach 57 years ago when she was just a kid, and lived in a blue house directly across from Danger Bridge. She remembered playing on, and underneath, the bridge while she was growing up.

The bridge had fallen into serious disrepair and over the past five years, it became Travis’ goal to see it restored; something she shared with Mayor Scott Avedisian and Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Dave Picozzi every chance she got.

“I’m just glad I can go to a JONAH Center meeting again,” said Picozzi, joking that he would no longer have to hear Travis tell him about Danger Bridge.

Travis also recalled having to prove to people that the bridge was named “Danger Bridge,” armed with old postcards featuring the bridge. She said she even had to show them to Avedisian as proof.

“This project has been a long time coming,” said Avedisian, also visually pleased with how the project turned out.

During the ceremony, Avedisian and Travis both shared a brief history of the bridge, which is now featured on signs on both sides of the bridge.

The area near Danger Bridge, which is located on Sea View Drive in Oakland Beach, was privately owned and known as Horse Neck; it was part of the original “Four Mile Purchase.”

The bridge, which was constructed in 1885, served as a link between Horse Neck and the rest of Oakland Beach. Because it was very narrow and poorly lit, warning signs reading “Danger Bridge” were installed. The name stuck.

“It’s great to finally have it open,” said Travis.

The two points acknowledged by Avedisian, Travis and Picozzi were that the project was completed by DPW workers and under budget.

“We actually reconstructed everything using our wonderful Department of Public Works employees,” said Avedisian, adding that this project proves that the city of Warwick can complete important community projects “cheaper, better, on time and under budget.”

Avedisian and Picozzi said they had received a number of estimates from contractors to complete the work, some estimating it would cost the city $500,000.

DPW was able to complete the project for $100,000, covered by community block development grants and the DPW. Workers at the DPW also handled all of the labor for the project, cutting down the cost.

“The heroes of the city of Warwick, the Department of Public Works; there’s nothing they can’t do,” said Travis. “These people put their hearts into this and I couldn’t thank you more.”

Picozzi also had to give his guys their due.

“I’m very proud of my guys,” said Picozzi, referring to the reconstructed bridge as “one of the best jobs we’ve done in the city.”

The bridge, which is newly tarred with cement sidewalks and black railing, is also officially named Danger Bridge. A plaque was installed in one of the sidewalks featuring the City of Warwick seal and the words “Danger Bridge 2013.”

While there may not be any danger, Danger Bridge is here to stay.


Comments
5 comments on this item

I was very excited to see the new bridge open until I read the sign. Apparently, the City of Warwick, does not know how to spell "municipal". Mayor Avedisian, Councilwoman Travis and Mr. Picozzi should be embarrassed. All of us who live in Oakland Beach should be embarrassed. Under budget shouldn't mean no quality control.

@barbras32...I wonder if you've ever made a mistake???

To the City of Warwick employees, Councilwoman Travis, Mr. Picozzi, and the GREAT Mayor, Thank you for what you do! There are so many things in this great city to be proud of! I won't let a simple misspelling get in the way of that!!

@proudwarwickresident: the sign has more errors than the mis-spelling pointed out by barabas: "it's" instead of "its", commas in the wrong places, etc. etc. . The city *should* be embarrassed and replace it as soon as possible.

Even more embarrasing is that the bridge didn't really need to be replaced--just check the story here from a few months ago where Picozzi said that the structure was sound. I'm not convinced that there ever was anything dangerous about the bridge. New railings would have been enough, along with some speed bumps to slow traffic on Seaview Drive.

Of course I have made a mistake. This is bigger than that. Lots of people had opportunity to look at that sign. It is a question of quality control, proof reading, personal responsibility and pride. When a letter leaves my office with my name signed at the bottom I am aware that it is a reflection on me and this sign was a reflection on all of us. There are things to be proud of in Warwick and there are things that are awful. The good does not make the bad disappear.

I have been told the sign has since been replaced. Excellent news.

I don't really care about the sign, and I'm glad the bridge is complete...but I do want to congratulate the Beacon for making the supreme effort in finding yet another photo op for Avedesian. No man has done so little or sold out so much, yet managed to be the subject of so much undue praise by one press agent - oops, I mean editor.

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