PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Pedestrians and bicyclists will soon be able to transcend the Seekonk River as construction on the old Washington Bridge nearing completion.
The bridge will soon be reopened to bicycle and foot traffic and it will be bigger and better than the older version, which was closed down two years ago. It used to be a 5-foot path that did not allow for easy access for bicyclists throughout the area.
The $21.8 million federally funded project involved repairing the bridge supports and replacing steel girders, as well as building a 4-foot wall and fencing to showcase Narragansett Bay and the Seekonk River below.
Many historical pieces were saved from the original bridge, which was built in 1930, including the operator’s house near the center.
“There will be interpretive signage that will be put up, it talks about the history of the Bay, the history of the bridge,” said Rose Amoros, Chief of Public Affairs for the RI Department of Transportation.
With stamped concrete for pedestrians and blacktop for bicycles, the new Washington Bridge will once again connect the East Bay Bike Path to Providence near Gano Street, and eventually it will connect to the Blackstone Valley Bike Path.
“That will be significant. Currently through Rhode Island we have over 60 miles of bike path, so we’re very proud of that, and our ability to provide that both for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the state,” Amoros added.
The bike and pedestrian path is scheduled to open in November.