After years (since 1999) of planning, revising, rumors of abandonment, speculation and even some uncertainty, the pedestrian bridge is back in action.
Governor Raimondo basically told RIDOT to forget about the PawSox, and get moving on the bridge and the park.
Providence Business News broke the story in their latest issue. You can get all the details here.
Of course, there is a small, temporary impediment to overcome before the pedestrians can use the bridge: Barnaby's new woodpile for WaterFire illuminations.
National Grid is about to start work on their Switchgear Building and transformer yard (scroll down to previous story) on the waterfront site where WaterFire has stored their wood for years.
We have always seen the pedestrian bridge as much more than a dramatic addition to the riverfront. With the demolition of I-195 and the opportunity, the bridge will be the key connector in a new era for the Jewelry District. Chairman Azrack of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission is quoted in the PBN article as saying the bridge is "... an asset that was critically important for commercial development of the district parcels." We couldn't agree more.
The bridge and its accompanying parks will be some of the highlights of CiTY WALK. the pathway that will take walkers, joggers, strollers, bikers, sightseers back and forth across the river, from Fox Point Park to Roger Williams Park. A new resource for the city celebrated as one of the most walkable in the nation.
The arrival of new businesses, research facilities, labs, support retail and residences will have a ripple effect over the entire region. At South Street Landing, work has already begun on the first major phase of the work that will put it back in productive re-use. The giant, empty window openings of the former power plant are being sealed so work can go on through the winter.
By the spring of 2017 (at the same time we hope the pedestrian bridge will open for business) hundreds of people will start moving in and begin living, working and studying at South Street Landing.
Stay tuned: things are beginning to move ahead once more!