Henderson Bridge — Virtual Town Hall

(5.6) A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Any plan that does not include yellow barrels and Jersey barriers will be an improvement. Tonight, Wednesday, at 6pm the RI Department of Transportation RIDOT will be holding a virtual town hall meeting to discuss the Henderson Bridge.

The Henderson Bridge was declared structurally deficient in 1996, the first year that RIDOT started keeping records. (It has been aesthetically deficient for at least that long.)

Known as the Red Bridge, Henderson is a 26-span steel girder structure spanning 2,000 feet over the Seekonk River. It carries 20,000 vehicles per day and connects the cities of Providence and East Providence.

The bridge was over built. RIDOT will demolish it and build a narrower structure with two lanes of traffic westbound and one lane eastbound.

(It is not really known as the Red Bridge as it is the new Red Bridge. The original Red Bridge continued off the end of Waterman Street and has since been removed, after which people did start referring to the Henderson as the Red Bridge causing great  confusion to any newcomers who know what red looks like.)

Actually I am excited about this finally happening — we do pretty well designing our new spans. The I-Way, the new pedestrian bridge, and the Linear Park up on the Washington Bridge, are all pretty awesome.

The RIDOT site lists the project features:

  • Replaces 6 Lane Structurally Deficient Bridge with a 3- lane bridge
  • Converts Interchanges to At-Grade Intersections
  • Provides a Separated Bike/Ped Infrastructure
  • Provides economic development opportunities

These include spaces that will benefit both commuters and those seeking recreation. The new structure will have a shared use bike path connecting the on-street bicycle networks in East Providence and Providence as well as the Blackstone River Bikeway.


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