The Newport Bridge
by James M. Ricci
Newport is a premier destination, but getting to the city has not always been easy. For three centuries, ferries crossed Narragansett Bay’s East Passage. That all changed on June 28, 1969, the day the Newport Bridge opened, and it closed the last remaining gap between Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands. Proponents of the bridge persevered political squabbles and delays for twenty-five years following World War II to make it a reality. The longest suspension bridge in the region incorporated several new technologies and construction techniques and changed the face of Rhode Island. Author James Ricci details the trials and tribulations that produced an iconic bridge.
James M. Ricci is a native of Rhode Island and grew up in Barrington. He holds a doctorate degree from Salve Regina University in Newport, where he explored that city’s efforts to reinvent itself from a sailor town to a tourist center following World War II. This led to a particular interest in the quarter-century struggle to build the Newport Bridge. He has spent the last three decades working in financial services. He has published articles on bungalow architecture and the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s. Jim is an avid golfer and serves on the board of directors for the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Cheryl, live in Bristol, Rhode Island.