Greater City Providence

Surreptitious look at Collier Point Park

A reader submitted this photo taken from the Iway Bridge of on-going work at Collier Point Park. Collier Point Park is where the Russian Sub used to be (well, still is, but not for long), off Allens Avenue just under the west side of the Iway Bridge.


Reader submitted photo

Collier Point Park has always been a nice little slice of public access to the waterfront amidst the industrial wasteland that is Allens Avenue. Many people head down there to fish, when I worked in Davol Square sometimes I would take my lunch and eat down there. However, since there is not much that is attractive in the area, the park has very few people visiting, especially now that the Russian Sub Museum is closed.

Our reader has this to say about Collier Point:

Just before they opened the I-Way lanes to southbound 95, I walked across the new blue bridge and took this shot of the park that’s being completed between the power plant and the defunct Russian sub. The picture was taken by aiming between a blue support girder of the eastbound overpass and the guardrail of the westbound lanes.

How do you get access to the park itself? Of course, you can’t get there from here. Work isn’t quite finished. What’s more, the whole park complex and its boat ramp are off limits because of the Russian Sub calamity. Why they can’t just rope off the Russian Sub dock and open the rest of the place up to the public is something one would have to ask RIDOT or National Grid.

Fishermen use the park now — they park behind Desire and clamber over the riprap of the Hurricane Barrier.

One of these days this will be a nice, slim addition to the city’s park system.

Here is a photo I took a couple weeks ago from under the east side of the Iway Bridge across the river to Collier Point Park, as you can see, the desiccated Russian Sub is still hanging around waiting to be scrapped.


Photo by Jef Nickerson

Putting aside the debate about the future of the Allens Avenue waterfront. There will continue to be not much in the area of this park to attract people to it. With the Russian Sub going away, there’s not an attraction here besides the park itself. What should this park be? Should it remain a passive recreation area for the few people who make their way there? Should the city try to make some sort of attraction at/in the park itself to draw people to it to use it? It is one of the few public access points to the water, what should it be?

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • I thought for sure there was going to be some mention of the tent city somewhere in here.


  • I know someone on UrbanPlanet had said that this area would make a great spot for a sports stadium, they had talked specifically about building a baseball stadium, personally I would rather see the NE Revolution come down and build a Soccer Specific Stadium here. That would fit in with Providence more as they are smaller 18K to 22K. It would make it easier to get down to the river, and bring more people down there, I have often wondered how to get to this park as well. Maybe if there was a large pedestrian bridge from India Point Park would help to.

  • Alger, I can’t read your link ‘cos ProJo is down today, are tent city people relocating to Collier Point. I know the city got people to agree to move (citing work to remove the highway as the reason).

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