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RIDOT opens India Point Park Pedestrian Bridge, new bridge is six times wider than the original bridge

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today dedicated the new India Point Park Pedestrian Bridge, a park-like span that connects the Fox Point neighborhood in the East Side of Providence with India Point Park on the Providence waterfront. The $9.5 million bridge was built as part of the Iway project.

The new bridge is 48 feet wide, six times wider than the original bridge, and spans I-195 just west of the Washington Bridge. The bridge also is an integral part of the Iway, with on- and off-ramps in the India Point Park area passing underneath the bridge.

Despite the volume of traffic passing underneath the bridge, the India Point Park Bridge is a quiet place, especially on the India Point Park side where a series of stairs and ramps serves as a buffer between the highway and the park. The bridge was constructed with numerous planters in which a variety of small trees, shrubs and other landscaping will be planted next spring, further enhancing the park-like feel of the bridge.

“The new bridge is not just a means to get from the East Side to the waterfront,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “The bridge is an integral part of both the neighborhood and the park.”

RIDOT built the new pedestrian bridge in the same location as the original span, which was built in 1971. While functional, the old bridge was only 8 feet wide and enclosed in an unattractive, chain-link fence. Construction of the Iway required the bridge to be removed because its piers would have impeded the alignment of I-195 to the Iway.

RIDOT demolished the old span in 2005. Construction of the new bridge was challenging due to the complexity of building the ramp structures on the southern end of the bridge and successful efforts to preserve a large red oak tree on the northern end.

The bridge features a number of amenities including built-in concrete benches and column-like lighting. A large compass rose is set in the bridge at its southern end. Upon arriving in the park, pedestrians will find many new improvements including new sidewalks, walkways, landscaping, and parking lots. These improvements also were made as part of the Iway project.

“In Providence, we understand that a great quality of life and economic growth go hand-in-hand. We have worked hard during the re-routing of I-195 to make sure that we seize all opportunities for both,” Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline said. “The new India Point Park Bridge is the result of good planning, good partnerships and having the right priorities.”

A community celebration for the India Point Park Pedestrian Bridge is being organized by the Friends of India Point Park and will take place Saturday, October 18 from 1 - 4 p.m. The celebration will include music, food, face painting and other family-friendly activities. The event will begin with a procession across the bridge starting on George M. Cohan Boulevard, on the Fox Point side of the bridge.

“We are thrilled to have the park connected once again to our neighborhood and our city,” noted Heather Florence of the Friends of India Point Park. “We hope it will encourage even more people to enjoy this unique stretch of shoreline in the Ocean State.”

Also at the dedication, RIDOT announced the opening of India Street westbound. This new road allows greater access to the Providence waterfront and to the Wickenden Street area via South Water Street. The new road also allows access to the South Main Street on-ramp to I-195 East.

Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Transportation

Online: http://www.dot.ri.gov

Release date: 10-15-2008

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