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Nonprofit Kicks Off Series Of Events In Effort To Spur I-195 Development

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A local nonprofit organization is kicking off a series of events on a vacant parcel of I-195 land near downtown Providence, Saturday. The group wants to...

A local nonprofit organization is kicking off a series of events on a vacant parcel of I-195 land near downtown Providence, Saturday. The group wants to see action on the development of a proposed park and pedestrian bridge.

The parcel of land was at the center of last year’s fight over a proposal to build a 10,000 seat stadium for the Paw Sox. Some objected to the proposal because the land was originally set aside for a public park.

Now that the stadium deal is off the table, a group called Building Bridges Providence is staging events on the vacant lot to spur development of the park and a long-delayed pedestrian bridge.

Sharon Steele is president of the group.

“So we decided that it would be our mission to activate the parcel, and call attention to it and its importance as serving as the economic stimulator for the I-195 parcel,” said Steel.

Steele, says the events are meant to keep the land, and plans for it, in the public eye, even as the parcel remains empty.

“Perception is in fact reality,” said Steele. “So when the public doesn’t see anything happening on this site, or with the bridge, and they don’t see anything happening in the I-195 corridor, then they assume, and rightly so that nothing is happening.”

The group wants to see the park and bridge fully finished by summer of 2018.

Rendering of proposed Providence pedestrian bridge
Rendering of proposed Providence pedestrian bridge