Publish and Present
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) began a highway relocation project approximately 30 years ago which would begin a revitalization of the Providence, Rhode Island waterfront. Historically, the downtown area in the City of Providence (Providence) was separated from Narragansett Bay (Bay) by Interstates 95 and 195. Relocating the highways would not only ease traffic flow but enable the city to provide access to the waterfront that was previously isolated. As RIDOT was planning the highway relocation project in the 1980’s, Shooter’s Waterfront Café opened in the Old Harbor. Boasting a three-story multi-use building with restaurant and bar, a 90-slip marina, and waterfront pool, Shooter’s instantly became a popular hotspot filled to capacity. However, just 10 years after the opening, the State of Rhode Island (State) claimed the property through eminent domain and used it as a staging area. Now, after 20 years of abandonment, the State is looking to sustainably connect downtown Providence to its waterfront by transforming the defunct property into a bustling public attraction. A vibrant open food market will replace the crumbling nightclub to create a local food hub. LID will be incorporated into a new parking lot complete with new stormwater treatment system, LED lighting, electric vehicle charging stations, and bike share stations. An attractive waterfront pavilion will transform the former pool and patio area. A prominent fishing pier, a 75-slip marina with transient docking, and a high-speed ferry terminal connecting Providence to Newport will also be incorporated to further attract the public to the waterfront. A new steel bulkhead will be installed to reduce nuisance flooding and raise the elevation of the proposed parking lot. Once complete, the new SITES-certified facility will be a showpiece of Providence’s waterfront, reintroducing the public to one of the best views of Narragansett Bay in the State.