The Jamestown Bridge (Rhode Island Bridge No. 400) formerly carried Rhode Island State Route 138 over the West Passage of Narragansett Bay between the towns of North Kingstown and Jamestown, Rhode Island. Planning for the bridge began in 1933 and the as-built design was developed by 1938. Construction of the bridge began in 1938, and it officially opened for traffic on July 7, 1940. It is the second longest bridge in Rhode Island behind the Claiborne Pell (Newport) Bridge in terms of overall length. The length of its main span is exceeded only by that of the Pell and Mount Hope suspension bridges. The design for the bridge involved two noted American bridge and transportation engineering firms, Waddell and Hardesty, and Parsons, Klapp, Brinckerhoffand Douglass. The bridge served as an important transportation link for Rhode Island military installations during World War II. Post-war bridge traffic outstripped predictions as it shortened the trip to Cape Cod and fostered residential development on Conanicut Island. The bridge is Rhode Island's only example of a Warren cantilever continuous truss bridge, a popular mid-twentieth-century engineering solution for long-span bridges. Author: Public Archaeology Lab (PAL), Inc.
Scope and Contents: The records consist of one final Rhode Island Historic Resources Archive (RIHRA) documentation for the Jamestown Bridge No. 400 located in North Kingstown and Jamestwon, Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation Jamestwon Bridge Demolition Project was found to have an adverse effect on the Jamestown Bridge which was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. The documentation includes photographs, written historical and descriptive data.