For this project, GRA received the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) 2008 Pioneering Award for Transportation Excellence

Berkeley and Martin St. Bridges

Lincoln and Cumberland, RI.
Owner: Rhode Island Department of Transportation

The former Berkeley Bridge carried Martin Street over the Blackstone River between Lincoln and Cumberland, RI. The Martin Street Bridge carried Martin Street over the remnants of the historic Blackstone Canal, which runs just west of and parallel to the river. The earth embankment that separates the canal from the river has been improved and modified to become the very popular Blackstone River Bikeway. The original bridges were constructed in 1900.

A key element in this bridge replacement project was its setting within the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. In addition, for safety reasons, the design incorporated a grade separation between the roadway and the bike path. Instead of two separate bridges with an at-grade connection at the bikeway, the new bridge is a three-span, steel-girder structure spanning the river, the bikeway and the canal. For historic preservation reasons, the spans over the river are 75 feet long, as before, with new timber bowstring trusses. The concrete pier required at the western bank of the river is positioned with respect to the bikeway/pedestrian walkway so as to provide a scenic overlook. To enhance this feature, the concrete pier has four rectangular openings, or "windows," through which pedestrians and bicyclists can view the Blackstone River. An important additional element at this location is the bikeway/pedestrian ramp, 245 feet long, which connects the bikeway to Martin Street within the limits of the new bridge. Metal railings, timber fencing, stone facing on concrete walls and landscaping complete the scenic overlook and riverfront enhancement.

GRA's innovative design on this project preserved the historic integrity of the area while improving safety, through a grade separation, at a point where two modes of transportation — the highway and a bike path — come together.