East Bay Bike Path

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East Bay Bike Path
East Bay Bike Path, Bristol, RI.jpg
Facing south near the path's southern terminus in Bristol
East Bay Bike Path
Length14.5 miles (23.3 km)
LocationProvidence County & Bristol County, Rhode Island
Established1992
DesignationEast Coast Greenway
TrailheadsIndia Point Park
Bristol, Rhode Island
UseHiking, Walking, Cycling
Hiking details
SeasonAll year
Months12
SightsNarragansett Bay
Surfacetar
WebsiteEast Bay Bike Path

The East Bay Bike Path is a 14.5-mile (23.3 km) paved rail trail in Rhode Island. The path begins at Providence and India Point Park, crosses the Seekonk River via the George Redman Linear Park (opened September 2015[1]) and Washington Bridge and continues southeast to Bristol along the shoreline of Narragansett Bay. The path passes through the city of East Providence, the hamlet of Riverside, and the townships of Barrington and Warren. It is part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile system of trails connecting the Canada–US border in Maine to Key West. and provides access to Haines State Park, Brickyard Pond (Barrington), and Colt State Park. It is used annually by 1.1 million people.

History[edit]

The former Riverside train station still stands next to the East Bay Bicycle Path

The East Bay Bike Path was originally part of the Old Colony Railroad[2] which was built in the mid-1800s to take trains from Providence to Bristol, Rhode Island. The line changed hands several times through the years, and all passenger service was discontinued in 1937.[2] Freight service continued intermittently until the railroad went bankrupt, and the branch was completely abandoned in 1973.[2]

The plan for Rhode Island's first major bike path was approved in April 1983 by Governor Edward DiPrete. It was built between 1987 and 1992,[3] following the abandoned rail bed of the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad. The property was acquired and constructed in four phases:

  1. Riverside Square to Barrington County Road (4.17 miles or 6.71 kilometres)
  2. County Road, Barrington to Franklin Street, Warren (2.38 miles or 3.83 kilometres)
  3. Franklin Street, Warren to Independence Park, Bristol (3.87 miles or 6.23 kilometres)
  4. Riverside Square to India Point Park, Providence (3.98 miles or 6.41 kilometres)

The completed path was dedicated on May 31, 1992 by Governor Bruce Sundlun. An 8.5 mile on-road bike lane was completed in 2011, linking the East Bay Bike Path with the south tip of the Blackstone River Bikeway, a 48-mile (77 km) trail that will link Providence with Worcester, Massachusetts. Rhode Island's next project will be connecting the East Bay Bike Path with the Washington Secondary Rail Trail.[citation needed]

Repairs and upgrade[edit]

Tree roots, erosion, and weather necessitated repairs to the asphalt in 2002, 2007, and 2009.[4] Repairs in mid-2016 targeted the most hazardous areas of the path.[4] Pavement was repaired, destructive tree roots removed, eroded areas reinforced, and new planks were installed on the Barrington bridges.[4]

Bicycle and pedestrian traffic are separated on the George Redman Linear Park (looking east)
The bike path on one of the coves in East Providence, Rhode Island
An abandoned rail bridge on the path with Providence in the background
The entrance of the path under India Street
A World War II memorial on the path in Riverside, Rhode Island
A view of Providence from the East Bay Bike Path
Looking north on the path in Riverside

A section of the bike path was renovated and rebuilt along the Washington Bridge between 2012 and 2015.[5] The park was christened the George Redman Linear Park, opened in September 2015 at a total cost of $21.8-million.[1] It consists of an 11-foot wide bicycle lane, a separated footpath paved with stamped concrete, and several seating areas[1] and is completely separated from I-195 automobile traffic. It was named in honor of East Providence cyclist George Redman.[6][7] A plaque honoring Redman can be seen on the west end of the park.

Crossings[edit]

County Town Intersection Notes
Providence Providence Tockwotton St. Terminus as of 2016
Gano St. Overpass

Parallel:I-195 (1961).svg I-195

Providence/

East Providence

Seekonk River River Crossing

Parallel:I-195 (1961).svg I-195

East Providence Waterfront Dr. Overpass

Parallel:I-195 (1961).svg I-195

Valley St.
Warren Ave.
First St. Overlap
Teofilo Braga Way
Watchemoket Cove inlet crossing
Unnamed Cove
Squantum Rd.
Unnamed Cove inlet crossing
Mobil Oil Pipeline Underpass
Private Dr. owned by Mobil
Rhode Island 103.svg Route 103 Underpass
Washington Ave.
Lincoln Ave.
Unnamed Cove inlet crossing
Rhode Island 103A.svg Route 103A
Vintner Ave.
Metropolitan Park Dr.
Bristol Barrington Unnamed Cove
Bay Spring Ave.
Alfred Drowne Rd.
Washington Rd.
S. Lake Dr.
Middle Hwy
West St.
Rhode Island 114.svg Route 114
Runnis River river crossing
East Meadow Rd.
Sowams Rd.
Barrington/

Warren

Barrington River river crossing
Warren Kelley St.
Brown St.
Nobert St.
Hope St.
Wood St.
Market St.
Rhode Island 103.svg Route 103
Cherry St.
Rhode Island 114.svg Route 114
Campbell St.
Halie St.
Bridge St.
Beach St.
Bradford St.
Maple St.
Locust Terrace
Bristol Clubhouse Ln.
Beach Rd.
Peck Rock Rd.
Aaron Rd.
Gibson Rd.
Mulberry Rd.
Fales Rd,
Asylum Rd. Access to Colt State

Park

Poppasquash Rd.
Thames Rd./Oliver St. Terminus

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kuffner, Alex (21 September 2015). "$21.8-million George Redman Linear Park is dedicated to pioneer of R.I. bike paths". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  2. ^ "East Bay Bike Path". Rhode Island Department of Transportation.
  3. ^ a b c Salit, Richard (4 July 2016). "RIDOT to smooth brain-rattling, spine jarring stretches of East Bay Bike Path". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  4. ^ "RIDOT to begin Washington Bridge linear park project". RI.GOV. State of Rhode Island. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  5. ^ http://www.constructionequipmentguide.com/Legendary-Local-Cyclist-Inspires-Washington-Bridge-Replacement/21959/
  6. ^ http://www.dot.ri.gov/community/bikeri/washingtonbridge.php

External links[edit]

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