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.
Launch the I-195 Bridge & Park.
Building Bridges, the ad hoc group that helped spearhead the war against putting the Paw Sox stadium in our park is aiming to make something happen on the park site NOW! Building Bridges "is a new movement to activate, celebrate, imagine and help realize Providence’s future premiere riverfront park and its pedestrian bridge, and THE LAUNCH! is our exciting first event. Together, we can show what an amazing, vibrant public space this can be, and why building our park and bridge is so important!"
On the 28th, Food, Drink, Entertainment and Live music by headliners Mark Cutler and Men of Great Courage will be available. The food and drink parts will be served up by the Matunuck Oyster Bar.
Admission $15 per person including a drink. Children under 12 FREE.
Saturday May 28th, 12 pm to 8 pm. Rain or shine.
Watch for updates on Facebook
BONUS: It's a WaterFire night with a full lighting starting at 8:11 pm just a pleasant saunter up along the river walk... you know: to where the world's widest bridge used to be.