RIDOT to Install ‘Extensive’ Landscaping for Pell Bridge Project
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation plans to install “extensive” landscaping as part of the $85.5 million Pell Bridge ramp realignment project, including the area along the new Route 138 extension leading to Admiral Kalbfus Road.
According to RIDOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin, the department worked with stakeholders in an effort to make the new approach more welcoming.
“We coordinated closely with the city of Newport and several stakeholders on a plan that will eliminate the highway feel for the roadway,” he said.
That strategy includes plans to plant trees on both sides of the new extension, as well as in the median area. Additionally, fencing with privacy panels will be installed, which will work in combination with the trees to “screen” the city’s large Department of Public Works facility, which houses construction vehicles and other industrial equipment, RIDOT said.
As for the waste management building, which sits on the right as one approaches Admiral Kalbfus Road along the new extension, measures to improve aesthetics are also planned.
“RIDOT understands waste management will be making improvements to their property, including a retaining wall to help block the view of the facility from the roadway,” said St. Martin.
Daffodils in the new roundabout and along America’s Cup Avenue are also included in planned landscaping efforts.
According to RIDOT, about 150 trees will be planted project wide. As part of the project, approximately 25 acres of land will be made available for eventual development and will also be improved.
“With further development of the parcels made available by the new design of the ramp system, there will be landscaping as part of those projects, which will further enhance this gateway to the city,” St. Martin said.
The land will be freed up by the forthcoming demolition of three bridges; the current ramp and exit to downtown Newport, the on-ramp to Route 138 from Newport and the overpass at Admiral Kalbfus Road. Along with the acres slated for development, a 200-car public park and ride and dog park will be constructed.