East Passage Crossing of Narragansett Bay was the technical project name for what, colloquially would become the iconic 2.1 mile long Newport Bridge after a long and controversial planning process that resulted in the completion of the structure in 1969 due to the advocacy for the bridge project by Senator John H. Chafee, elected Senator in November of 1962.  Rhode Island State Legislature dedicated the Newport Bridge in honor of six-term U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell upon his retirement.

The steel framed deck of the Claiborne Pell Bridge is suspended from cables, supported by two soaring gothic styled intermediate portal towers bordering the shipping channel, that terminate in below water level pile anchors on the shorelines of Conanicut Island (Jamestown) to the west and Aquidneck Island (Newport) to the east, respectively. The Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge connecting NorthKingston and Jamestown and the Claiborne Pell Bridge are part of Route 138, the southern connection between mainland Rhode Island and Newport. Crossing the Narragansett Bay on the east bound lane, motorists enjoy the stunning views of the Newport shoreline, the Point Neighborhood along the coastline to the right, and Fort Adams in the far distance to the south. Leaving Newport offers equally impressive views of the Bay and the shore of Conanicut Island with the Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge on the horizon.


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