Now, with a short walk, you can send a package via UPS to the ends of the earth. After major renovations to a building, a brand new, full-service UPS Store has just opened in the heart of the Jewelry District.
It's just opposite Rue Bis at the corner of South and Parsonage Streets.
Besides shipping packages for you, General Manager John D'Onofrio says they can pack your package, if you'd like. And, if you prefer to do it yourself, they carry a complete line of packing materials, from boxes and envelopes to padding and packing tape.
They can rent you a mail box. And they offer a range of printing and copying services on site, including wide-format and banner printing. Oh, and they can also do binding, laminating and cutting on print projects.
Watch for the grand opening at the end of July.
Wexford Science & Technology LLC, the company that has proposed development of two large parcels in the I-195 land has been sold, according to reports in the Providence Journal and Providence Business News.
It is unclear what this means for the Jewelry District project, though it is reassuring to note that the purchasing company is in exactly the same business as Wexford.
You can read the details as they are currently know in:
The Providence Journal HERE.
Providence Business News HERE.
And take a look at Wexford's concepts for a 1,000,000 sq. ft. development on our Projects page, HERE.
After reading in the Providence Journal on June 9, that long-time fixture at the south end of the District, Coletta's Towing is moving out, we went over to take a look. And got there just in time: the signs on the building are gone, they are moving this weekend. The familiar yellow trucks will still be around town, though. Coletta's is moving to a new location at 250 Niantic Ave. "A nice, big building," was the unofficial word.
The property has been sold to former Mayor Joe Paolino's property group. No immediate use announced, beyond "parking." Read the details as reported by Kate Bramson, HERE.
Came around the corner at Ship & Dyer at 10 this morning and, amid the flourishing landscaping, found a celebration in progress.
Building Futures was holding a press conference to celebrate the graduation of their 200th Registered Apprentice. Building Futures, a program of the nonprofit public-private partnership The Providence Plan, operates a nationally-recognized pre-apprenticeship training program aimed at workforce development for the non-residential construction industry.
Brief remarks about the program and its success at developing skilled labor to meet future workforce needs, were Governor Raimondo, Congressmen Langevin and Cicilline and Mayor Elorza. They were joined by key figures in South Street Landing, the giant project rising just southeast of the press conference, Richard Galvin of CV Properties and Tom Gilbane, Chairman, Gilbane Building Co. Also speaking, Michael Sabitoni, President of the RI Building & Construction Trades Council, and Orlando Correa & Britney Young, the latest graduates of the program.
As threatened (see earlier post) Building Bridges threw a party on Saturday the 28th and brought buoyant life to the site of our postponed park and pedestrian bridge. For an afternoon, the promised park resounded to music and laughter in a big tent set up under a blazing late May sun.
Live music played non-stop through the afternoon. The Red Pennys, led by Robert MacDonald, kicked things off with rousing old country, honky tonk and roadhouse rhythm and riffs. Then the Nelsonians and Nelson Hiller offered a couple sets of classic bluegrass. Winding things up both figuratively and literally, Mark Cutler and the Men of Great Courage (abetted by an honorary "Man" on violin) played till the sun began to set.
Big Nazo river trolls, aggrieved at being dispossessed from their home under the I-195 bridge, showed up looking for the pedestrian bridge under which to take up residence. Homeless for years, they got right into the spirit of things with a crowd also in search of the pedestrian bridge.
Some might point out that the venue looked like a construction site. And they're right: on work days, it's the staging area for the earth moving machines, cranes, pile drivers and trailers full of precast pieces of concrete for the new parking garage and the National Grid Switchgear building going up on Dyer Street.
All that construction activity points up the urgency of getting the pedestrian bridge underway.
South Street Landing is on schedule to open for the fall 2017 semester. At that point, a dead power plant will come to a new life, filled with student nurses and faculty from R.I.C. and U.R.I. and administrators from Brown U. Due to (avoidable) delays, the pedestrian bridge won't make that deadline. But when completed, in 2018, it will be a vital link across the river and a key selling point for further development in the I-195 parcels and adjacent vacant land.
Long delayed, back-burnered, ignored, funding-threatened, sneak attacked by a much-reviled baseball park scheme — the pedestrian bridge and its park have been going nowhere. Despite the mandate that park and bridge were part of the deal with the Federal to fund the massive I-Way relocation project. Regardless of continual questions and pressure from the JDA and other interested parties. Nothing was happening.
As the afternoon progressed, a rumor spread: RIDOT had put the pedestrian bridge out for bids the day before! Was it the impending pressure of all those people planning a party on the park site? (See previous post.)
Building Bridges was formed to bring public attention to this wasted public resource. More activities are being planned for the summer, as the Building Bridges group, Olin Thompson, Dr. Tim Empkie, Sharon Steele, Brian Heller, Ethan Gyles, Don Nguyen, Anne Bergeron and volunteers keep the pressure on.
It's official. The Rhode Island Department of Transporation has requested bids for building the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge. A prebid meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 9:00 am at 2 Capitol Hill. If you're planning on bidding, you'll want to drop in. Fair warning: You'll have to know how to handle a large variety of types of construction materials and procedures, and we quote:
This contract includes extensive fabrication and construction of complex architectural elements.
The bridge construction includes: cast-in-place wingwalls, abutment stems and pier pedestals, and bridge decks; straight and curved steel plate girders and rolled sections; fabricated architectural steel bridge piers; timber framing; timber piles; micro piles; IPE timber decks; architectural rails systems; architectural wanna timber-steel framed fascia panels; architectural masonry; and extensive architectural lighting.
Site work includes riprap; precast modular block riverwalls; grading and embankment construction. Incidental construction includes site preparation; embankment construction; salt marsh planting; plantable soil; and all other incidentals, complete and accepted within the project.
And that's just an outline, comprehensive though it may appear. Read the whole RFP, pages and pages of it
We've been wondering what Building Bridges was all about ever since the new group announced their first event (previous news item).
On Monday night, at the monthly I-195 Commission meeting, Building Bridges outlined their festival plans in front of a receptive audience.
The Providence Journal was there:
A small group of advocates who are frustrated by the delays for a pedestrian bridge and public parks on vacant, former highway land in the heart of the capital city have taken matters into their own hands.
They're creating a nonprofit called Building Bridges Providence that will host its first event May 28, to coincide with Brown University's graduation and a WaterFire. They hope to attract up to 1,500 people to their music and food festival, noon to 8 p.m., on the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission's land along the Providence River, the group's chairman, Olin Thompson, and president, Sharon Steele, told the commission at its Monday night meeting.
All the details are in Kate Bramson's article, which you can read, HERE.
The planned, promised, hoped for pedestrian bridge over the Providence River and its accompanying public park (which currently resembles a disused parking lot) are making news this week.
Remember, back in June of 2015, RIDoT's new Director announced:
"Given our current funding levels, RIDOT is reevaluating this project given the availability of funding... RIDOT must take into consideration the many needs for Rhode Island’s deficient bridges and deteriorated roadways. With reliable, predictable funding provided through the RhodeWorks program, RIDOT would be in a better position to schedule and fund projects such as the pedestrian bridge. If you're interested in this old news, you'll find the story from June 2015, nicely written by Kate Bramson, HERE.
Let's move on to NOW for new and improved news.
FIRST, a press release from the Department of Transportation: "Here at RIDOT we are moving at the speed of business and our project management teams across the board are closely administering all our projects," said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. "Through these efforts, we are pleased to be able to get started on this important project very soon." You can read the complete RIDOT press release, HERE.
SECOND, The Providence Business News explained under the headline: RIDOT moves up Providence River pedestrian bridge schedule. PBN notes that RIDOT, which had been planning to put the bridge out for bids in July, will now start the process in June. Under the new time-line, the bridge will be finished sometime in 2018, a year after South Street Landing welcomes its first occupants. Read the PBN article, HERE.
THIRD Enough of time-lines. Let's all line up for some fun.