Gov. Gina Raimondo and First Gentleman Andy Moffit officially opened segment 1A of the Blackstone River Bikeway in Providence on Thursday, creating a continuous bike path from Independence Park in Bristol to the Blackstone Valley corridor all the way to Woonsocket.
The Governor joined with Congressman David Cicilline, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Director Janet Coit, and biking advocates to celebrate the addition of one more segment of the existing 16.5-mile bikeway.
"Rhode Island's top-notch quality of life is at the heart of what attracts people and businesses to locate here," Governor Raimondo said. "We might be small but we pack a punch, with beautiful beaches, parks, and now, even more bikeways to explore. I know my family loves biking around the Ocean State, and I am grateful to RIDOT for the hard work they put into completing this project on time and on budget."
The 0.71-mile segment that opened Thursday runs from Gano Street/Trenton Street to Pitman Street in Providence. The $2.5 million project was 100 percent federally funded.
"At RIDOT, we are committed to offering both a great outdoor experience to Rhode Islanders, and alternative means of transportation whenever possible," Alviti said. "We expect about 120 riders to use this bike path every day."
The Blackstone River Bikeway is the state's third-longest bike path, currently stretching 16.5 miles. The Bikeway begins at Gano Street in Providence and travels north through Pawtucket, Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield and Woonsocket. When the bikeway is fully built out, it will be about 22 miles long, from Providence to the Massachusetts border.
"Our scenic bikeways are a treasure that add to the beauty and quality of recreating outdoors in Rhode Island," Coit said. "They are also important commuter arteries that connect job and social centers with neighborhoods across the state, support our environment, and promote health. With the completion of this project, two of our most popular bikeways, the Blackstone and East Bay, are now linked, allowing people to enjoy a continuous ride from as far east as Colt State Park in Bristol through the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park to the north and more. What a fantastic way to take in the sights and experience the natural beauty and history Rhode Island has to offer. Kudos to all partners involved in this effort."