Detours Slated for Woonasquatucket Bike Path



Detours Slated for Woonasquatucket Bike Path

The Narragansett Bay Commission(NBC) has published a notice that due to the work to begin on Sept. 25, 2011, a portion of the Woonasquatucket River Bike Path will be closed and detoured.  Project is slated to run through February 2013.  The closure is in order for the NBC is redirect and combine several sewer overflows away from the river and bay towards the Fields point wastewater center.

The detour is around 3/4 mile of closed path at the south end of the path, from Sheridan Street to the Greenfield Bridge Underpass along Manton Avenue.

The NBC announcement and a map of the detour are available from the NBC website.


  • Chris
    Sep 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    For what it's worth, and despite the optimistic tone and future tense used in the announcement, this section of the path has been closed since at least Monday (9/12). But who cares about a few days' difference, when the path will be closed for around 400 or 500 days in total? Sorry to be snide — I was hoping to ride the path to school this fall, but the detour makes it pretty darn unpleasant.

  • msmoritz
    Sep 16, 2011 at 2:53 am


    I'm aware of the current closure, that's actually how it came to my attention, via an email from NBC that I was forwarded responding to that they indicated it was indeed currently closed for project preparation, so I too am confused about the wording of the press release. Why close it for the next 2 weeks if they aren't going to disrupt the path for real until the 25th?

    Loss of 3/4 of mile with a posted detour doesn't invalidate using the rest of the path for getting to school, assuming one is comfortable riding that section of Manton Ave.

  • Victor
    Sep 16, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I understand this path may affect some of us, but I don't think its too big of a problem. Lets get addicted to the bike paths shall we?

    I don't see a problem using the street, it may take slightly longer on some routes but it makes ya stronger!

  • Sep 16, 2011 at 3:39 am

    It would be great if RIDOT and/or the city could take this detour one step further and either put up some share the road signs or even lay down some sharrows. Both of these could remain even after the path has been restored.

  • Victor
    Sep 16, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Yeah bike sharrows!

  • msmoritz
    Sep 16, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I bet NBC could find a few hundred dollars for a sharrow or two in their project budget. I'll be over there Saturday morning and will take a look at it. I don't recall much about that section of Manton Ave and its design, since I rarely ride it with the path so close by. I think Manton is a city street, not state highway though, so approval would be needed from someone in the City as well.

  • mattm
    Sep 16, 2011 at 7:12 am

    From a representative of Narragansett Bay Commission on the currently, unannounced, path closure:

    As ridiculous as it sounds (and believe me, I had the same question), the current closure is a "temporary" one for site preparation, according to the contractor and construction plan. This was done in part to make sure that the path would be open for the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council fundraiser on the 24th. It isn't a permanent closure until the 25th.

    I've also asked about the possibility of sharrows on Manton.

  • Labann
    Sep 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    The 1 block segment from the Bike Path crossing to Fruit Hill Ave is absolutely horrendous. To complete this street, you'd need to ban parking altogether, restrict motor traffic to a single lane in each direction, and rework sidewalks for ADA compliance. Otherwise, you'd have to knock down houses and widen bridge for additional lanes.

    Once past Stop&Shop (no friend to bicycling; what racks?) Manton isn't bad. You pass the entrance to Northwest Bike Trail just after the Groden Center. There is currently construction around Glenbridge Ave, the intersection of which was recently made bike unfriendly with the addition of a turning lane, which, as usual, was put in at the expense of a shoulder. Naturally. That's because The Providence Bicycle Plan lists Glenbridge, Manton, and Orteleva as bike routes. So, you turn out from Orteleva onto Manton thinking there's at least a marginal shoulder to squeeze into but you're wrong and a giant bus takes you out. Far fetched? Almost happened to me twice.

  • msmoritz
    Sep 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm


    You're correct about the condition of Manton at the FruitHill intersection near Stop and Shop, however, that isn't where the detour is at from what I can tell. The detour is at the entrance by Groden south to Sheridan street.

    What copy of the bike plan are you looking at? The one i consulted this morning does not label Manton as a prospective bike route.

  • Labann
    Sep 17, 2011 at 3:44 am

    The latest (2009) edition of RIDOT's "Guide to Bicycling in the Ocean State" map shows (because of my own and others' repeated lobbying) the Providence Bike Map, which derives from the Providence Plan, a document I had directly from Groundworks in large printed format for when I did their grate survey. Granted, this document underwent many changes, and probably continues to get modified as long as someone trickles money to cartographer. Almost nobody pays any attention whatever, since all it represents is suggestions, not adaptations to roadnet to include bikes, other than a few signs. Let's face it, sharrows on Gano Street are practically no reasonable accommodation; a short segment of paved bikeway on the right-of-way behind Dunkin Donuts to Richmond Square would be a real bike route.

    Anyway, it clearly shows a route along Glenbridge (one of only a few crosses of RI-6 highway with Killingly and Merino Park Bridge at Sheridan) that intersects Manton, then turns onto Orteleva, the terrible intersection mentioned. If it's on the plan, it should be bike friendly.

  • Labann
    Sep 17, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Btw: Even Pamela Cotter's ProJo "Thrive" article, "Paving the Way or more Bicycling"(September 15th, 2011) pans Gano Street as a bike route, suggesting you only try it on a Sunday when commuter traffic is absent. I mean, can't they see that dumping motorists bound for Blackstone Blvd onto Gano and Pitman is tantamount to treating them as an inadequate expressway that severely impacts that neighborhood? You'd think they'd somehow connect I-195 to the Henderson Bridge. There is an unused RR right of way to exploit.

  • mattm
    Sep 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    aha, I found the map you were referring to that indicates Manton and Glenbridge as Phase II bike network implementations. Since this plan was published 3 years ago and phase I (bike route signage) and the Broadway Bike Path Lane are finally getting completed, I somehow doubt anyone thought to add the city's bike plans to the current repaving project on those 2 streets, and of course, if Phase I was almost entirely signs, leaves one to wonder what Phase II could be.