The East Bay Bike Path Bridges project will replace bridges that pass over the Barrington and Palmer rivers. The design-build team will use prefabricated modular truss Acrow bridges, each about 90m long and 4.2m wide.
State governor Dan McKee, US senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island federal highway administrator Carlos Machado and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) director Peter Alviti, Jr joined other state and local leaders for the event.
“For more than 30 years these bike path bridges have been the highlight for riders of the East Bay Bike Path,” McKee said. “And now thanks to the efforts of our administration and Rhode Island's Congressional delegation, we have the funds to replace both bridges and restore these iconic crossings.”
Reed added: “Replacing the bridges is a major capital investment that will pay off for generations. I’m proud to have worked at the federal level to help make it happen. And I’m looking forward to the day when we can return to this spot on bikes and cycle across this new, smooth, accessible and sustainable section of the East Bay Bike Path.”
"The East Bay Bike Path is a Rhode Island gem, and the bridges spanning the Barrington and Palmer Rivers are two of its highlights," Whitehouse said. "I'm very pleased to join Senator Reed in securing funding to replace both bridges, which had been closed for several years."
Work will begin on the project following the receipt of necessary environmental permits before starting demolition of the old structures. The start of work in the field is contingent on the permit process but could begin next spring. Final completion is expected by the end of 2025.
The old bridges date back to the 1880s and were converted from rail bridges to bike path bridges in the 1980s. RIDOT closed the bridges in late 2019 due to their deteriorated and unsafe condition.