Greater City Providence

City seeks ideas to light the Route 95 Eddy Street underpass


From the Providence Department of Planning and Development:

Request for Proposals for a Lighting Installation for the Eddy Street Underpass

Project Background and Context

The City of Providence is soliciting creative designs for a lighting installation that would activate and enhance the safety and visual appeal of the Eddy Street underpass. The improvement of this space through unique artistic design would not only make the underpass significantly safer and more inviting for pedestrians, but it would also define a sense of place, effectively connecting the City’s emerging Hospital District with the more established, pedestrian-friendly Jewelry District. Activation of this space provides a significant opportunity to establish a well-designed, identifiable connection between these two vital districts, while promoting a safe, pedestrian-oriented environment. Furthermore, this project allows for an exciting opportunity to utilize the abundant local artistic talent, further enhancing the identity of Providence as “The Creative Capital.”

[alert type=”success”] Download the full RFP [/alert]

The Eddy Street underpass crosses Interstate 95 at an oblique angle, resulting in an area twice as long as it would be if it were to cross perpendicular to the highway. As a result, the underpass is unappealing to pedestrians, both visually and more importantly from a perception of safety. Despite the highway relocation project, I-95 remains one of the primary pedestrian barriers between Downtown Providence and the emerging Hospital District. Addressing and investing in the quality of the streetscape within this underutilized area will enhance the City’s overall pedestrian network.

In December of 2014, The City contracted The Urban Land Institute to assess the Hospital District area including the Eddy Street underpass, and create a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) Report. The Report noted that “a focus should be made on making infrastructure more pedestrian and bike friendly.” In addition, the report specifically stated that “the city could improve the (Eddy Street) underpass through inexpensive improvements like artistic lighting or murals to make the underpass feel substantially safer and more inviting. This will increase foot traffic to new development on Prairie Street and make the area feel more urban.”

Project Site

The proposed site for the lighting installation is the stretch of Eddy Street that passes underneath Interstate 95 (see attached site plan and photograph).

Design Objectives

The proposed installation will be designed to further improve the experience in the underpass for pedestrians, downtown and Hospital District employees, and visitors. It is intended that the installation will:

  • Be visually stimulating and functional
  • Be able to withstand public use and all weather conditions
  • Enhance sense of safety and visual appeal for pedestrians in the underpass

Responses to the RFP

This RFP is an informal solicitation to gauge interest and gain information. Responses to this RFP should include:

  • Description of the entity responding
  • Description of the relevant experience of the entity in designing an installation of this nature
  • Description of the proposed design concept for the space
  • Proposed plans for developing and implementing the concept
  • Proposed project budget
  • Proposed project schedule

Selection Process

A Selection Committee will review the submissions and select a winning proposal.

Respondents may be contacted by the City as a result of their submissions to meet and discuss the concept proposed.


Responses to this Request for Proposals (RFP) must be submitted by July 24th at 3pm EST. Responses shall be electronically submitted via email to

Email submittals must have the subject line “Eddy Street underpass Installation RFP.”

Contact Information

In order to ensure an accurate and efficient flow of information, please address all questions and materials to:

Margit Liander
Principal Planner
Department of Planning and Development 444 Westminster Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
(401) 680-8522 –

Thank you in advance for your interest in this very exciting project. We look forward to receiving your design proposals.

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • Though, I guess it’s not _that_ dark during the day… and that wouldn’t really help at night. So maybe not. Still, would be cool to allow natural light through in a way that could allow plants to grow in a median or something.

  • Thank you JCK for the link to the “lowline” that I recommend others follow for an example of innovative thinking that if it works could be really a boon. Providence rail tunnel??
    Another dreary walk under an overpass is from the Providence Place Mall under I-95 to the Promenade area and the CIC complex. The rebuilding of I-95 is both an opportunity to improve it and a threat to make it worse if the RIDOT succeeds in widening the northbound viaduct. So lets hope the Eddy St project results in good ideas that can be adapted elsehwere.

  • The sea murals that are there now have only been there a couple years – will they stay or go?

  • To outline the existing murals with soft changing LEDs would be cool!

  • It would also be nice if they swept up all the trash lining the sidewalks from time to time.

  • Would be interesting if they could use the technology Australia implemented on one of their bridges, whereby any underpass lighting could be powered by energy captured from vehicles traveling overhead.

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