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Providence Will Transform Freeway Crossing Into Elegant Car-Free Bridge

The Providence River Pedestrian Bridge will stand where Interstate-195 once did. Image: City of Providence via Greater City Providence [PDF]
The Providence River Pedestrian Bridge will stand where Interstate-195 once did. Image: City of Providence via Greater City Providence [PDF]
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Pretty soon, folks in Providence, Rhode Island, will be able to stroll casually over the Providence River on the same span once occupied by Interstate 195. Construction is set to begin in the spring on the Providence River Bridge, which will connect parks on both sides of the river.

The bridge will take advantage of footings from the old I-195 bridge. The highway was rerouted 2,000 feet south of its previous alignment in 2010, opening up 20 acres of downtown land for development and better positioning the road to withstand flooding events.

Tearing down the footings would have cost the state $2 million. By preserving and reusing the footings, that money went toward construction of the pedestrian bridge instead, reports the Providence Business News.

In 2010, the city held a design competition to solicit proposals for the structure, and Detroit-based inFORM Studio won. The original design called for a small cafe within the bridge, but plans were scaled back due to cost concerns.

The bridge is expected to open to the public in the fall of 2016.

Night view shows lighting effects. Image: City of Providence
Rendering: City of Providence
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