By ecoRI News staff
PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will soon advertise for a contractor to build a new pedestrian bridge in the footprint of the former I-195 highway corridor to connect the city’s East and West sides.
Preliminary construction activities are expected to begin for the new Providence River Pedestrian Bridge this fall, according to RIDOT, with the bulk of construction commencing in early 2017. Work on the project, with a total budget of $13.2 million, and a budget contingency of $1.5 million, will take about two construction seasons to complete.
In mid-April, RIDOT posted draft plans of the bridge project on its website. The department is now finalizing necessary permits and preparing a final set of plans for advertising.
RIDOT also is working on design plans for a second contract, likely beginning in late 2017 or early 2018, for the construction of new parks on either side of the bridge.
The project consists of the construction of a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge on the existing granite piers of the old I-195 bridge, which crossed the Providence River midway between the Point Street bridge and Crawford Street bridge.
The bridge will feature varying widths, and will have wood decks, dedicated seating areas, railings lighting and a façade, according to RIDOT. The agency has been working with the I-195 Redevelopment Commission to accelerate the bridge timeline, and received the Coastal Resources Management Commission permit in March.