Bridge To Be Replaced

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is headed this way on Tuesday — let’s hope he brings a magic wand. It’s official: the westbound bridge must be completely removed and replaced. I think we all knew this was coming. From the ProJo:

After announcing Thursday that the ailing bridge will need to be torn down, McKee is also facing unanswered questions about it. One of them is whether there was any way to rebuild the bridge in less than the 18-to-24-month time frame now under consideration.

The bulk of that article is about funding, but Wheeler Cowperthwaite has an additional piece today addressing the impact on business owners in East Providence and beyond, and it is not just that sales are down:

Getting people into work, and sorting through child care issues, has become a huge problem for [Chomp owner Sam] Glynn’s restaurants. Staffing schedules have been significantly changed, as parents try to juggle both a commute over the bridge as well as child care that is often on the other side.

This is heartbreaking but maybe we can help. For one thing, I have found that access to the East Providence side is not a problem during the non-rush hour times. Allow me to recommend Sun & Moon Korean Restaurant on Warren Avenue, and across the street is the Asiana Food Market. Honeybird just north of the Henderson Bridge serves southern food including the best creamed corn and corn bread ever. Crook Point Brewing on Massasoit Avenue had opened just prior to this disaster; he opens at noon on Saturdays and Sundays so get over there (also open 4pm Weds, Thurs, Friday).

Myrtle is the new music venue on Waterman Avenue that had just recently launched. They have outdoor seating.

And there’s the Red Bridge Tavern, Jeff’s Pizza, and the El Mariachi.

If RIDOT could hurry and get that Hendo roundabout sorted out asap that would help enormously; for one thing, the walking path will provide a nice option, particularly in the warmer weather and longer days. It is doable now — there is a designated walking path on the bridge — but I stick with the daylight hours as signage on the roundabout side is complicated and drivers can get confused. (I have walked from Wayland Square over to Crook Point Brewing in about 10 or 15 minutes . . . cool views from the bridge.)

The effect of the traffic back-ups has been far-reaching; Cowperthwaite interviewed the owners at Miller’s Sandwiches and even Gregg’s.



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