That’s Tellin’ ‘Em
Unfortunately, Melissa Wicks’s letter to the Sakonnet Times does not appear to be online, but the Tiverton resident has a point of view with which many folks outside of town government and a specific neighborhood probably sympathize:
Since the current Sakonnet River Bridge is so pristine, I can see why there is a $14 million argument over the looks of the new bridge.
Actually, it’s ridiculous. Who cares what it looks like as long as we all have the convenience of driving over it, including trucks that weigh more than 22 tons. Is the fabulous paint job going to make it more structurally sound? Is not having a paint job going to make people drive around the entire state?
Doubt it. Use the $14 million on something that’s worth it and stop arguing over something so bloody stupid.
For the record, the argument has nothing to do with paint. The question is whether the structural steel (all beneath the road, as I understand it) will be stainless or “weathered,” which develops a consistent rust-colored patina. Ultimately, therefore, the debate might as well be over a paint job. (The only additional consideration with weathered steel is that it requires the design to collect and redirect runoff water, which can stain surfaces such as concrete if it’s allowed to simply flow down.)