Long-awaited pedestrian bridge taking shape over Providence River

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Passersby now have a clearer image of the long-awaited pedestrian bridge across the Providence River that will connect the College Hill and Fox Point neighborhoods with downtown.

Yet it’s too soon to put on your walking shoes and test it out.

The bridge is expected to be complete by the end of October 2018, said Charles St. Martin, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, the agency in charge of the $16.97-million project.

After years of delays, the bridge remains on the same schedule DOT outlined in August 2016 and within the budget announced that September, when the agency awarded the contract to Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, of Holyoke, Massachusetts, St. Martin said.

The project was conceived more than 17 years ago — when Rhode Island School of Design architecture student Kevin Prest developed the idea to use old highway bridge piers to support a pedestrian bridge. Prest was studying with professor Friedrich St. Florian, one of three architects whose dreams about moving the city’s rivers eventually led to the state’s $623-million relocation of Route 195.

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