Updated March 26 at 6:24am

Should private donations make up the funding shortfall for the new Providence pedestrian bridge?


The winning design for the new pedestrian bridge over the Providence River in the Capital City includes a water-level cafe, an interpretive boardwalk, gardens and ample space for walkers and bicyclers to cross from the Fox Point-College Hill neighborhood to the burgeoning Knowledge District. It also comes with a $4 million to $5 million price tag.

Unfortunately, the city has only $2 million set aside to build the bridge, which will use the existing piers from the Interstate 195 bridge that is being torn down.

The city has said that it will build the bridge as designed, meaning it has to come up with the difference between the cost and its resources on hand. The question is, where will the money come from?


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Richard from Barrington

I think this is a great opportunity for Rhode Islanders at all income levels to participate in a signature project for our capital city, from a donation as small as buying one brick to underwriting the entire cost. If it's marketed correctly and recognition is tastefully done, it can be a success. I'd donate!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Report this

I'm all for citizens - both individual and corporate - contributing to the community. But the rules for submitting a proposal for the bridge specified that the design had to be buildable for the alloted budget . If this design cannot be constructed within the budget, then one of the other designs should be selected. Another possible solution is that the bridge project budget is actually $10 million - $3m for construction and $7m for demolition of the old overpass. Perhaps the budget should be re-allocated and balanced less towards destruction/demolition and more towards creation/construction.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Report this

Citizens already have plenty of projects they can donate to - and support established non-profits while they're at it. Donation dollars are finite - and as of 2011 Rhode Islanders cannot use charitable donations as a deduction on their state taxes. This further increases competition for philanthropic gifts.

Richard in Providence, I'd be curious to know what other projects you $upport.

Gary, I second your comments.

But at any rate, NO, let's NOT create additional competition for existing non-profits who already do so much to help the city and the state, to build a bridge - no matter how attractive. (BTW, what's it going to cost me to park somewhere so I can see/enjoy this bridge?)

Friday, December 24, 2010 | Report this
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