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ProJo: ‘Linear park’ on Washington Bridge to open in June

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If you were thinking that, come the first warm sunny spring day, you’d hop on your bike and check out the new “linear park” on the Washington Bridge — or even that you’d commute to work over it — think again.

Already behind schedule last fall, the projected completion of the span linking the East Bay Bike Path to Providence’s India Point Park has been pushed back until June, according to Rose Amoros, spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation.

You can blame the cold, snowy winter for the further delays, Amoros said.

All photos from RIDOT

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10 Responses to ProJo: ‘Linear park’ on Washington Bridge to open in June

  1. Arman April 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    My friend and I walked across the new “linear park” today. It’s almost completely finished with almost all of the elements in place. My thoughts are that it’s not really a park, but it is an excellent bridge. It’s too close to the constant rush of the highway to be a pleasant stroll, but it is a great bikeway and bridge.

    I really find the design direction to be well matched with the existing historic bridge. In a few years it will be difficult to discern which parts are original and which parts are new. In some ways the whole project reads as a simply a restoration of the existing bridge. It’s a very architecturally sensitive addition to the bridge.

    I don’t think comparing it to the highline is very appropriate. The two projects serve totally different purposes and have vastly different environmental conditions.

    My only criticism is the noise and constant rush of cars. It’s really not a fun place to walk thanks to its proximity to the highway. The old pedestrian path was about 30 ft. or so away from the highway. The new path is about 10 ft. away, a consequence of the wider bike lanes and sidewalks. A simple solution to this problem could be a taller wall along the highway. Some simple precast panels would do the trick.

    I fear without a taller highway wall it’s never going to be a pleasant place to walk and hang out, but it’s still great bikeway.

  2. Matt Moritz April 7, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    Gee, if the contractor hadn’t already been 6 months behind schedule before the new year, they wouldn’t have had to make excuses about the rough winter further delaying the completion. I sure hope that RIDOT had and exercises any and all late completion clauses in the contract.

    A friend of mine is a carpenter on the project and from conversations with him, there wasn’t any significant work done from Mid-December onward, well before the snow and ice started accumulating.

  3. Jef Nickerson April 7, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    “Providence’s High Line” is a really lazy and wrong description. This is transportation infrastructure with places people can sit for a minute. It is not a park for quiet contemplation, we have the entirety of India Point at the base of the bridge for that.

  4. James April 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    The point that Arman makes about noise is totally right on, and is one of the things I worry about with the Friendship St. Bridge project in City Walk. I hope that the project will focus on bikes first for that very reason. Walking projects can really be crushed by aesthetic concerns like noise or light that would only be smaller annoyances to a bikeway.

    http://transportprovidence.blogspot.com/2015/03/lets-use-bridge-we-have-for-city-walk.html

  5. Boyd April 8, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    Any money left over for some beautification of the underpass between Gano and India Point? I always feel like I’m going to get murdered walking through there.

  6. Mari April 12, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    The three year closure of the Washington Bridge to pedestrians has been a hardship on folks who were accustomed to walking the short distance between East Providence and the East Side. The initial project was supposed to take 2 years – bad enough for walkers – but the dragging out and “milking” of the job for another year exceeds Rhode Island’s traditionally shabby and shady exploitation of public improvement contracts. The weather is not to blame, here. The Redman Linear Park will not open with a bang on this side of the bridge. We’re still going to be whimpering about all our lost time and money spent on motorized transit long after the recreational cyclists have had their summer fun. Open the bridge for walkers, right now! The needs of practical pedestrian commuters must trump the desires of weekend adventurers.

  7. barry April 13, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Mari, make that point to RIDOT that has some control over this. Note
    their Director is up for confirmation Wed at Senate Commerce Committee.

  8. Patrick April 17, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    “You can blame the cold, snowy winter for the further delays, Amoros said.”

    This was originally scheduled to be done by a date in 2014, long before the snowy winter arrived. Why was the project delayed into 2015, is a question that I’d like to get answered. I’ll try an email to RIDOT and see what they say.

  9. Jef Nickerson April 28, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    ProJo: Washington Bridge linear park to open this weekend

    After nearly three years of construction, the new Washington Bridge linear park and bike path is scheduled to open for weekend use on Saturday, state transportation officials announced Tuesday.

    […]

    However, while the bridge will be open during daylight hours on weekends, work on the bridge is not finished and will continue on weekdays until “late June,” the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said in a news release.

    It is well more than a year behind schedule. Lots of revisionist history coming out of RIDOT about this project.

  10. John June 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    Late June is well upon us, time for another completion date to be announced. Still pretty lame for construction delays to be laid on “winter”. Winter is a given in RI… like construction dely, actually.
    A bike ride over Henderson is never a fun option.

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