Henderson Bridge To Be Replaced

The Henderson Bridge has always looked like crap. It’s the only bridge I know of that was in a state of complete disrepair the day it opened. I’m sure the people at the dedication were told this was all temporary, but no one in living memory can recall a time before the Jersey barriers, the barrels, and the dead end off-ramps. (That white shipping container is a later addition. And perfect.) But good news! According to the ProJo,

Bolstered by an additional $70 million in federal highway funding, Rhode Island plans to start rebuilding the deteriorating Henderson Bridge between Providence and East Providence five years earlier than expected.

The rebuilt bridge envisioned by the state Department of Transportation will be narrower than the current span, known as the “red bridge,” and will include bicycle/pedestrian paths.

Nooooo . . . it has always been called “The New Red Bridge.” So the next iteration will have to be “The New New Red Bridge.”

Kudos to Senator Reed for making this happen. It is hard to believe that anything resembling normal governance is possible these days.

Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the key appropriations subcommittee that handles transportation funding, is credited with bringing home the additional highway and bridge funding. Rhode Island’s share of the money includes $54.5 million for bridges plus $15.1 million for general highway improvements.

So let’s see if we can ace the design and execution this time around and properly honor George Henderson . . . Mr. Highways.

3 thoughts on “Henderson Bridge To Be Replaced”

  1. A bridge in a narrower location slightly down river would be cheaper–this construction costs by the foot and the distance is less than half of where the bridge now stands. Also, the tie-in to new and old roads is very direct. Putting the bridge down river would keep the benefit of the released acreage but might add the possibility of the Henderson Bridge becoming parkland (like the High Line in NYC).

  2. is the existing bridge in the right place or is this the time to think about moving it- perhaps a little down stream where the river is narrower.

  3. Rick Richards

    The removal of on-and-off ramps to Henderson Bridge will create significant acreage on both sides of the river. This benefit is on top of creating better traffic patterns for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Handled properly, both shorelines could become greener, more accessible to the public, and more economically productive to both cities. However, the short planning time-line associated with this project means this kind of thinking has to incorporated into the very beginning of the planning process, which is now.

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