East Bay Bike Path Construction



The City of East Providence is continuing with its plan to close a 2.5 mile section of the East Bay Bike Path in order to install a new sewer line from Watchemoket Cove to the Bullocks Point treatment facility.   The closure will start November 1, 2011 and is expected to last 5.5 months.  The City indicates that the path will be repaved and restored  at the end of the project. It is unclear if appropriate detour signs will be installed directing path users around the construction zone along Veterans Parkway/Pawtucket Ave/Bullocks Point Ave. 

East Bay Bike Path Winter 2011 Closure Map The northern end of the closure will be the parking lot opposite Metacomet Country Club (at the sharp bend and hill), southern end at Riverside Square (presumably at the traffic light for Bullocks Point Ave and Lincoln Ave.)  (see map)

Red highlight is the section of path that will be closed.  Blue highlight is the most direct on road detour available.

Full text of the announcement from the city is included below.

Construction Activity on the East Bay Bike Path

While the City of East Providence conducts improvement to the wastewater system, there will be some construction activities in this area. These construction activities may temporarily increase local noise levels, dust and other disturbances. The construction will also restrict access to the East Bay Bike Path, but this will be a temporary disturbance only. When the construction is complete, the bike path will be re-paved and your access will return to its current status. AECOM and the Department of Public Works are working to ensure the construction schedule is as least disruptive to you as possible.

A new sewer forcemain will be installed in Veterans Memorial Parkway and the East Bay Bike Path. The project will start at Watchemoket Cove, proceed north on Veterans Memorial Parkway to the bike path, and then continue south along the bike path to Washington Ave.

Start Date: On or about 11/1/11
Construction duration is expected to be approximately 5.5 months
Work Days: Monday to Friday
Work Hours: 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Closures: Approximately 2.5 miles of the East Bay Bike Path will be closed from the
bike path parking lot on Veterans Memorial Parkway (adjacent to the Metacomet
Country Club) to Riverside Square.

If you have any questions or require information, please call Steve Small of AECOM @ 401-680-5994.


  • Labann
    Oct 24, 2011 at 8:01 am

    An ugly stretch of detour with heavy traffic and inadequate shoulders, pretty much why bike path was conceived and constructed in the first place. After creating a expectation by maintaining a primary cycling route for decades, any long term disruption must be carefully dealt with. Don't expect temporary lane cones, jersey barriers, sharrows, signs, or striped lanes during closure. Without, anyone maimed has perfect grounds to sue state for injuries, or estates of those who are killed because of it. They just think your safety and welfare are not their concern.

  • Oct 24, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Any word on when they plan on closing down the Washington Street Bridge walkway? I seem to remember that they were going to shut it down this past summer but it was delayed.

  • Oct 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

    From the official RIDOT press release:

    The path will be closed on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. The affected area will be re-paved and is scheduled to reopen in early Spring 2012.

    No formal detour will be established. Experienced cyclists attempting to bypass the closure using Veterans Memorial Parkway, Pawtucket Avenue and Bullocks Point Avenue should exercise caution due to high traffic volumes and very narrow shoulders. Recreational cyclists and other path users are urged to use other segments of the bikeway south of Riverside Square.

    No detour? What are people expected to do who actually USE the bike path to for commuting? I can't fault RIDOT, it isn't their project. Come on East Providence, how hard it is to put up some signs, splash down some sharrows, and provide cyclists with an option?

  • Labann
    Dec 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Has this yet occurred? What can be done to stick EP's nose in this imposition? Why do sewers run along bike path anyway? Sounds like a fine opportunity for a Critical Mass ride during rush hour, not limited to just the detour route but all of EP. On the other hand, EP joins Central Falls as cities out of cash hanging on by their fingernails. Nobody's minding the store, so who can you blame? And if you think they'll stick to a 5 month schedule, guess again. It took 15 years for better funded state to complete bridgework across RI-10. People still speak of the Greenwood Bridge as an example of government failure. Yesterday noted with some degree of worry the deteriorating bridge over the Scituate Reservoir's spillway, a collapse of which might have some serious downstream consequences. State probably fired inspectors after making a list too long to deal with.

  • Matt Moritz
    Dec 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Work commenced as announced, remains to be seen if the project concludes on the announced schedule. Some are still riding, using Veterans Parkway and Pawtucket Ave, but I know of at least one rider from Barrington who has stopped riding to Providence until the path re-opens.

  • hmmm
    Apr 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Constructions sign at the entry to the bike path says closed until May 16th.

    • mdieterich
      Apr 16, 2012 at 9:08 am

      This is the official end date of the project. We are still cautiously optimistic that it will actually be open before this, but get a different answer depending on who you are talking to.

      • MattMoritz
        Apr 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

        I rode past over the weekend and noted that there was work being done on Saturday morning. And some intrepid explorers went up the path at the Riverside Square end and said that it looks like the it may be close to repaving, with a dirt bed down and a distinct lack of any sort of pipe segments sitting in the staging areas.

  • Labann
    May 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I'm finding it difficult to stomach that every major bike path will have segments closed in 2012 through 2013. Mostly it appears they have some other agenda than repairing paths. The WSBP has quite a few frost heaves and storm damage from Hurricane Irene (where downed tree roots buckled pavement), but none of them are being addressed. No it's mostly sewers. Why sewers have to go in at bike paths seems a mystery. Certainly cyclists aren't being served. Perhaps they figure fewer voters will get aggravated, or streets are harder to repair after being torn up. Anything that inconveniences motorists is carefully avoided, since all the deepest pockets and political coffers are filled by automotive interests.

    • mdieterich
      May 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      The argument I heard was EP was saving a boatload of money by running the sewer line down the EBBP rather than the road. I can swallow that and even deal with the temporary closure. What really burns me is that they offered no accommodations for cyclists. In fact, they publicly announced that they were not offering any sort of accommodation or marked detour, because the other routes were "too dangerous". As far as I'm concerned, this is what we should be up in arms about. How can EP get away with building up an infrastructure that is so unfriendly to cyclists that the town won't even post an official detour when closing down what is effectively a "highway for cyclists".

    • MattMoritz
      May 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      I thought something similar earlier this year when I started hearing about all of the project planned for this year in Coventry. The construction work planned on WSBP won't even be in the sections that have the heaves and dirt slides onto the path in Cranston.

  • Labann
    May 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Dirt slides are easily controlled with hay bales. Public works department has a sort of "grinder" that eliminates cracks and heaves in no time, then paint tar to surface. These are low cost, quick repairs. Took me scores of letters and personal appearances before public meetings to shame RIDOT into reopening Blackstone Bikeway, a $12 million facility ignored by cyclists for 8 years because of the "safety" closure at the Martin Street Bridge. Then Director Jerome Williams thanked me for my commitment at the rededication. Basically, officials don't believe enough citizens care until they get nasty phone calls from local representatives. They'll close a train bridge and leave it that way for a decade as at Cranston Street under RI 10, or forever, as was the case at Pettaconsett Ave in Norwood. Are they planning to leave Reservoir Ave at Columbus Square closed forever, too? At least meanwhile make the open sidewalk bike accessible. Same thing for Hamlin Street bridge at Roger Williams Park, which has a gate easily opened for bikes alone with only one stanchion.

  • carfreepvd
    May 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Any update on if this will be completed for "bike to work week"?

    • MattMoritz
      May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

      The official word is May 16th.

      Some email chatter on the NBW list indicated that the path was passable during the day, though there are workers still on it, some railings are still missing and landscaping to be done. The path paving was reported as complete.

      • carfreepvd
        May 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

        Just saw this press release:

        Good afternoon,

        A closed segment of the East Bay Bike Path, from Veterans Memorial Parkway to Riverside Square in East Providence, is scheduled to open on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. It has been closed since last fall for City of East Providence sewer construction.

        Any questions about the project can be directed to the City of East Providence’s engineering consultant, Steve Small of AECOM, at 401-680-5994.


        Charles E. St. Martin III
        Chief of Information and Public Relations
        Rhode Island Department of Transportation
        2 Capitol Hill – Room 239
        Providence, RI 02903