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Records Relating to Department of Public Works | State Archives Catalog

The Department of Public Works was created in 1935 as part of a major state government reorganization (Public Law 1935 chapter 2250, section 60) and enshrined in the Chapter 5, Section 38 of the 1938 Rhode Island General Laws. Under this law,  the department's director was given "supervision over all contracts for public works, the construction, reconstruction and maintenance and repairs of public works." Toward this end, the statute called for the creation of a Division of Roads and Bridges, a Division of State Airports, a Division of Harbors and Rivers, and a Division of Public Buildings. The department's structure and responsibilities remained largely unchanged until it was dissolved in 1970 (Chapter 111 § 1 of the Public Laws of 1970). Its functions were then distributed among several new agencies, principally the newly established Department of Transportation.
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