State leaders will celebrate commitment to new bike path bridges

State will replace both bike path bridges

Posted 9/23/22

State and local leaders will attend a special groundbreaking event in Barrington on Monday, Sept. 26.

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


State leaders will celebrate commitment to new bike path bridges

State will replace both bike path bridges

Posted

State and local leaders will attend a special groundbreaking event in Barrington on Monday, Sept. 26.

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Federal Highway Administrator Carlos C. Machado, and Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti, Jr. will join other state and local leaders to break ground for the new East Bay Bike Path bridges. 

The project will include replacing both bridges, which pass over the Barrington and Palmer rivers. The bridges date back to the 1880s and were closed in late 2019 due to their deteriorated and unsafe condition. 

“The selected design-build team will remove the existing deteriorated structures and replace them with safe, modern bridges,” stated a press release from the state.

Earlier this month, Sen. Reed announced that Rhode Island would be receiving $48.5 million in additional federal funding for transportation infrastructure upgrades, and Alviti stated that the DOT would use $9 million from the additional funding to rebuild the East Bay Bike Path bridges.

“Once again, Senator Jack Reed and the Rhode Island delegation have secured funds to expedite bringing Rhode Island’s infrastructure into a state of good repair,” Alviti said. 

“We will use these funds to first, backfill the gap in the actual cost of the East Bay Bike Path bridges with $9 million so we can rebuild both bridges and the remainder we will use for pavement preservation, a priority of Governor McKee.”

The money came from the Federal Highway Administration’s annual August redistribution. Each year, the Federal Highway Administration shifts transportation funding authority from states unable to utilize the full amount of funding originally authorized to them, as well as from federal transportation grant and loan programs that were underutilized in the current fiscal year, to states that have shovel-ready projects and are able to utilize the funding before the end of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

The DOT ordered the bike path bridges closed in 2019 after inspections revealed structural deficiencies — wooden timbers were rotting, metal supports rusting, and in some sections, supports or cross beams had washed away with the tides. The state made the decision to close the bridges and re-route bicyclists, joggers, walkers and other bike path enthusiasts onto the nearby vehicle bridges. 

People criticized the move and called the detours unsafe. The state later dedicated more than $1 million to improve the detours after town officials spoke out about safety concerns. The upgraded detours included wooden boardwalks on the vehicle bridges and the installation of plastic barriers along the roadway. 

2022 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Media Group team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaymediagroup.com.