PROVIDENCE – The $2.4 million renovation of Kennedy Plaza will begin Tuesday, July 15, with an official groundbreaking ceremony, city spokeswoman Ann Gooding confirmed Wednesday.
The planned renovation, first unveiled in April 2013, will transform the commuter hub into a large civic space described by proponents as a “front porch for City Hall” with fewer buses and improved pedestrian walkways.
Workers will begin putting up fencing around the area this weekend, Gooding said, in advance of the formal groundbreaking on July 15. The renovation is expected to be complete by late fall this year, she said.
The Kennedy Plaza project is funded by roughly $1.7 million in city bond money and $700,000 in federal funds through the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.
Gooding added that the city does not expect major traffic backups in the area, as traffic will be rerouted around Kennedy Plaza.
Beginning Saturday, July 12, RIPTA will temporarily relocate all bus stops out of Kennedy Plaza to accommodate the project construction. All routes will be slightly detoured to avoid entering Kennedy Plaza, and Park N’ Ride service will be relocated from Exchange Terrace to Sabin Street but will continue to pick up passengers at other downtown locations.
Peter Pan and Greyhound passengers will continue to load and unload at their current stop in front of the Kennedy Plaza Terminal, RIPTA said, and ticketing and passenger information services will remain open inside the Kennedy Plaza Terminal during the construction period. Customers are advised to enter through the terminal’s side door on Fulton Street, near city hall.
For more information about temporary RIPTA bus stop locations, call 401-781-9400 or visit www.ripta.com. Specific detour information for Park N’ Rides and other major rerouting will be available online later this week, RIPTA said.