This 2009 article reported that the city of Providence, Rhode Island had decided to remove an Interstate highway that was blocking their ability to redevelop their waterfront.
REVITALIZATION readers familiar with the outcomes of this major project are invited use the Comments section below to share their insights.
Providence, Rhode Island once moved rivers to create a new urban design. It’s now moving a major highway away from its downtown and opening up approximately 20 acres for development. This newly accessible area is within walking distance of Providence’s historic waterfront and commercial downtown.
The property in question is known as the Iway surplus land, named for the $610 million federal and state highway project that is relocating Interstate 195 to the outskirts of Providence.
The land won’t be available for another year or two, when the road work is finished. But it is already generating considerable excitement among city and state officials, who see a rare opportunity to strengthen the city and state’s economies and to connect neighborhoods to the Providence River waterfront, which has been cut off for years.
Brown University and Johnson & Wales University have already expressed interest in buying some of the land. Both universities want to expand their campuses into a neighborhood called the Jewelry District, a warren of streets that the interstate had previously cut off from downtown Providence.