The records consist of one copy of the historic resources archive documentation (text and photos on archival quality materials) for the Round Top Bridge No. 378 prepared by PAL (The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island for the Department of Transportation.
Round Top Bridge No. 378 was built to replace a preexisting two-span timber king rod truss bridge with field and rubble stone abutments, a wood piling center pier, and wood plank railings (date unknown), Road surfaces on the deck and approaches were bituminous macadam. No discussions of maintenance to or the need for replacement of this preexisting bridge appear in Rhode Island State Board of Public Roads annual reports. However, notes on photographs from the Clarence Hussey Bridge Collection at RIDOT observe a "general displacement and settling of stonework in the S.B. corner ofthe south abutment" (Hussey:Photograph Nos. 378004,378018,378019,378021).
Surveying and drafting for the bridge was completed in 1936 at a cost of $145.70. Six bids for the bridge contract, ranging from $24,608.66 to $35,902.89, were taken in September 1937. The contract, which included construction ofthe bridge, re-excavation of the Clear River Channel for an improved highway aligmnent, and rebuilding about 350 feet of Round Top Road (then known as Douglas Road), was awarded to the John Ambrose Construction Company of Cranston (DPW 1937a:126; DPW 1938:120-121).
Work was begun October 6, 1937 and the bridge foundations and one of the spans had been completed by publication of the 1937 Annual Report. A temporary bridge was built next to the old location. The river channel was extensively widened and channelized with riprap and stone retaining walls. Upstream of the bridge, the channel was shifted to the east, while downstream the channel was shifted to the north. The grade of River Street east of the bridge was raised (DPW 1938:120121; DPW 1937b).
After a brief winter shut-down, bridge work resumed on March 27, 1938. Several unusually strong storms had occurred during the winter months, prompting RIDOT to request further modifications to the river terrain for greater capacity during flood stage. The downstream channel was widened to a minimum of 40 feet for a distance of 400 feet below the bridge. Upstream of the bridge, the roadbed of River Street was raised to form a dike high enough to contain the river during ordinary flood stage. The additional work cost $2,028.39 and was completed June 15, 1938 (DPW 1939:129). The total cost of the bridge and associated improvements was $31,777.78.
Little documented work occurred on the bridge following its completion in 1938. The parapet nameplates were set in 1941. In 1956 work was done to the sidewalks and curbing at a cost of $475.57. Additional work discoveredthrough on-site inspection includes the patching of sidewalks and the addition of steel guardrails at the eastbound and westbound approaches of the parapets (RIDOT Maintenance Record Card 378001; Site visit by 1. Daly and M. Kierstead June 6, 2007).
Author: John J. Daly, Industrial Historian, PAL, Pawtucket, RI
Scope and Contents: The records consist of one copy of the historic resources archive documentation (text and photos on archival quality materials) for the Round Top Bridge No. 378 prepared by PAL (The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island for the Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation replacement of Round Top Bridge No. 378 project was found to have an adverse effect on the Round Top Bridge No. 378, a historic property that was determined eligible for listing in the the National Register of Historic Places in March 2008.