The rumors are true, RIDOT will soon be re-opening the narrow Washington Bridge sidewalk connecting India Point Park and East Providence.
Late this month or early in January, the fences will be removed and bike commuters will no longer be forced to use the Henderson Bridge to cross the Seekonk River. This is a temporary reopening, and access will be closed again once construction of the George Redman Linear Park is imminent.
Speaking of the Linear Park: there is currently some $15 million in place, but the project as currently designed would now cost $33 million to construct. To get this project back on track, RIDOT will be conducting a “value engineering” study in January or February of 2009, to examine how the design might be altered in order to bring the cost down, making it more feasible given current funding realities, while not diminishing the central utility of the project as a transportation route for bikes and pedestrians. More on that will be posted here when the information is available.