Two celebrations planned as Pawtucket River Bridge project concludes

Two celebrations planned as Pawtucket River Bridge project concludes

The winged motifs on the four corners of the Pawtucket River Bridge were inspired by the eagles emblazoned on Pawtucket City Hall. Workers from Rossi Electric are installing a system of new lighting as the bridge project nears completion. Officials are planning a lighting ceremony for Sept. 7.

PAWTUCKET - With the $81 million Pawtucket River Bridge replacement project set to conclude within days, state and local officials are planning two big events to celebrate.

* On Thursday, Sept. 5, city officials and residents, members of the Pawtucket Bridge Design Committee, and representatives from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation will hold a "completion and naming ceremony," including a speaking program and unveiling of the bridge sign with the new official name, "Pawtucket River Bridge." The 2 p.m. event will be held on Taft Street, beneath the nearby Division Street Bridge.

Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to Tracie Jones, community relations officer for the DOT, by calling 401-222-1362 or emailing tracie.jones@dot.ri.gov.

* On Saturday, Sept. 7, Pawtucket will host "First Light: Pawtucket River Bridge Lighting," a family-friendly block party and lighting ceremony, from 5 to 9 p.m. The free event will include food, drink, entertainment, DJ music, and the first official lighting of the elaborate light system on the Pawtucket River Bridge. The lights will go on at 7:30 p.m.

Food and drink, including beer, soft drinks and water, can be purchased at Doherty's Irish Pub, the caterer for the event. For more visit www.tourblackstone.com .

The new Pawtucket River Bridge is just days away from completion.(Valley Breeze photos by Ethan Shorey)