Tag Archives | Bridge

ProJo: Construction starts on pedestrian bridge in Providence


Rendering of the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge

Public officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the start of construction of the long-planned pedestrian bridge to connect former Route 195 parcels on either side of the Providence River. The bridge is expected to connect two future city parks to be built on former Route 195 land, connecting the city’s College Hill and Fox Point neighborhoods with downtown.


Like: “Moses” Bridge

Moses Bridge

In the Netherlands, RO & AD Architects designed a unique bridge to cross a moat at Fort De Roovere in Halsteren [page in Dutch].

RO & AD architects found it really strange to create a bridge over a canal of a fortification. Especially because the bridge must be built on the side where traditionally the enemy was expected. Therefore, RO & AD architects created a bridge that is not visible from a distance….

The bridge they created places the people crossing it below the waterline, so when seen from afar, the bridge disappears. Hense, the “Moses Bridge.”

More photos and information at Architizer, My Modern Met, and de Architect [page in Dutch].


Video: Lake Champlain Bridge opens years ahead of schedule

Remember that bridge across Lake Champlain that all of a sudden officials deemed had to be shut and torn down before it fell into the lake back in late 2009?

Well, the replacement is done already.

As you can see in the video, the bridge’s main span was built on land, then floated up the lake and lifted into place, much like our Iway Bridge.

Original estimates forecasted it taking 8 years to build a new bridge. Construction of the new bridge began in June 2010.

More at Transportation Nation.


Why is non-auto infrastructure always “too expensive”?

In one of the meetings of the Providence Downtown-Knowledge District Development Framework Study Committee, of which I am a member, we discussed the idea of a pedestrian/bike bridge over Route 95 between Point Street and Eddy Street. There is a long-term proposal for Rhode Island Hospital to build on a site along the highway, and the other side of the highway is a potential home for a parking structure.

Pedestrian/Bike bridge over Route 95

Click image to enlarge

The idea was thrown about for a minute, then immediately shot down as too expensive, would never happen, and we moved on. But why? We had money for the Iway. We have money for the Pawtucket River Bridge, on and on, we’ve gone over this before. Yes, we are in a recession, especially in this city and this state, but when there is a need for autos, we find a way.

In Minneapolis, they’ve found a way to build a stunning bridge for bikes and pedestrians. And their bridge was built to bypass a road that actually does have crosswalks. Albeit a terribly wide, dangerous road, but you can cross it. One cannot cross Route 95 on bike or on foot.

Continue Reading →


Providence River Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition Press Conference

The City and RIDOT today announced a design competition for the new Providence River Pedestrian Bridge which will replace the old Route 195. The schedule for the competion is quite aggresive, Requests for Qualifications are due by September 17th, finalists who will be invited to submit designs will be notified September 24th, and their designs will be due on October 29th.

When the designs are recieved they will go on display at City Hall for public input and then a jury will select the winning design at the end of November. RIDOT estimates it will take 18 months to transfer the winning design into engineering drawings and prepare for construction. All said, the new bridge should be well underway during 2013, which is the year the Iway project officially wraps up. If all goes according to plan, the bridge should be being built at the same time as the streetgrid is being rebuilt and the parks are being built on either bank of the river.

RIDOT Director Michael Lewis also announced that Bids for the removal of the old route 195 were being accepted starting this morning. The winning bid should be award this fall with demolition getting underway next year (I assume around March, start of construction season, as always, weather dependent).

Request for Qualifications
As part of the first phase of the design selection process, the City has issued a Request for Qualifications [.pdf] (RFQ). Interested parties are encouraged to submit a letter of interest, firm profile, a relevant and current project portfolio and appropriate references for review by the Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition Selection Committee. The informational package should be limited to 10 pages.

Submission deadline
The qualifications package should be submitted electronically via email to by September 17 at 4pm EST. Email submittals must have “Providence River Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition” in the subject line. Firms may also mail or hand deliver a CD to the Department of Planning and Development at 400 Westminster Street, Providence.

Upon review, the Selection Committee, comprised of local architects, neighborhood residents, representatives from local universities, business owners and RIDOT and City staff, will invite up to 10 finalists to submit bridge designs. The finalists selected to participate in the competition will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:

  • Design philosophy and approach to design
  • Experience of key personnel
  • Prior design experience with pedestrian bridge projects of similar scale and complexity
  • Articulated understanding of the functional and operational needs of the proposed bridge
  • Commitment to developing a proposed bridge design within the timeframes and constraints outlined in the RFQ

Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition

The Mayor is launching a design competition for the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge on Friday afternoon. The RFP RFQ will reportedly be up on the Planning Department’s website by Friday. I will be at the press conference on Friday and will be reporting back the salient details.

In the meantime, check out this thread from January when we last discussed this bridge proposal.


Mt. Hope Bridge Tolls

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has released their report on tolls on the Mt. Hope Bridge.

As outlined in the report and reported by the Journal, the toll options include:

  • The same tolls as the Pell Bridge, a cash rate of $2 per axle, 83 cents for Rhode Island residents using the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system, and 91cents for non-Rhode Islanders with Rhode Island E-ZPass accounts.
  • A Mount Hope Bridge toll of 30 cents per axle with a 10-cent discount toll for E-ZPass users.
  • A $1-per-axle cash toll with a 21-cent rate for Rhode Island E-ZPass users and 23 cents for other E-ZPass users.
  • A $2-per-axle toll, with a 42-cent rate for Rhode Island E-ZPass users and 46 cents for other E-ZPass users.
  • A $3-per-axle cash toll, with a 62-cent rate for Rhode Island E-ZPass users and 68 cents for other E-ZPass users.

Currently, the recently raised tolls on the Newport-Pell Bridge cover the expenses for both bridges. It is estimated, that without new tolls, the RITBA’s budget for needed repairs on the two structures would fall short by $223 million by 2027.

The RITBA will hold public hearings before settling on a file toll structure and any new tolls will need to be approved by the General Assembly.

Related: Higher tolls, new tolls on RI bridges []


Video: Champlain Bridge demo

Yesterday, the Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, NY and Addison, VT was demolished, and the Burlington (VT) Free Press has the video.

You may have heard that the bridge was shut down by New York and Vermont officials last month, and here’s why:


Though the bridge was inspected regularly, the November inspection showed a remarkable acceleration of deterioration, prompting the immediate closure of the bridge. The bridge’s closure has resulted in massive detours for people on either side whose lives had become used to having the bridge there. New York and Vermont are working to launch a temporary ferry service and yesterday’s demo was the first step in building a replacement bridge.

As a Rhode Islander, I find it amazing that the replacement bridge is due to open in 2011, when is the new Pawtucket River Bridge scheduled to open? Sakonnet River? Barrington Bridges took literally how many decades?

Here’s a look at some of the proposed designs for the new bridge:


More proposed alternatives at NYSDOT.

More coverage at the Burlington Free Press.


GC: Photos – Providence at Night

We’ve had a number of great photos submitted to our Flickr Group, so we’re going to catch up in a few posts sharing them here. Starting off with some shots by pvdEric of Providence at night:

Kennedy Plaza at night

Fulton Street in Kennedy Plaza | By pvdEric

iWay Bridge

The Iway bridge* from Point Street | By pvdEric

Downtown Providence at night

Downcity rooftops | By pvdEric

If you click on the photos, they will take you to Flickr where you can view the full size images.

If you’d like your photos featured here, join our Flickr Group and submit them.

*The Iway bridge really needs a name doesn’t it, and not the New Providence River Bridge please.


Higher tolls, new tolls on RI bridges

Mt Hope bridge

Mt. Hope Bridge photo by takfoto from Flickr

ProJo reports that the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is proposing raising tolls on the Newport-Pell Bridge and reinstituting tolls on the Mt. Hope Bridge (tolls were removed from the Mt. Hope Bridge in 1998).

The toll to cross the Newport span would increase from $2 to $4 for those paying cash. For those with E-ZPass transponders from out of state, the toll would go up even more, from $1.75 to $4. Tolls for commercial vehicles would increase $1 per axle.

In-state E-ZPass users would continue to pay 83¢ per crossing and out of state E-ZPass commuters ho use the bridge at least 30 times per month will continue to be charged 91¢.

The Authority says it needs the toll increases to help maintain the bridges in the future and prevent a $223 million budget shortfall from materializing over the next 20 years.

While we are not opposed to tolls, we think the toll stick needs to be accompanied by a carrot. See: Tolls: A stick with no carrot. Only so many cars can possibly fit on Aquidneck Island. Ensuring we have robust transit options; bus, boat, rail to the island can be that carrot. It should be possible for island visitors and workers to leave their cars in Kingston or Fall River for example and be shuttled onto the island.

RIPTA Route 14, which runs between T.F. Green and Newport, does offer park n’ ride facilities at Routes 138 & 1A just at the mainland side of the Jamestown Bridge, and at First Ave. and Post Road in East Greenwich. However there are some issues. One, marketing, do people even know this option exists? Two, schedule, it has a healthy number of scheduled buses at rush hour, but overall it only makes 17 trips per weekday (and only 6 on Saturday, and none on holidays and Sundays, total FAIL for tourists). Three, marketing, yes marketing is one, but it can’t be stated enough. If the Newport Visitors bureau would push options that had visitors leaving their cars on the mainland, people might actually do it.

It is no secret that the state is in a budget black hole. If the Turnpike and Bridge Authority needs tolls to keep it out of the budget abyss, then I say jack the tolls. But let’s gets some carrots to reduce congestion on the island, reduce pressure on the bridges, and reduce green house gas emissions.