Riverbank Renewal

by Raymond Carroll, Asst. Vice Pres. and Project Mgr.; Morse Diesel International, Providence, RI,
James P. Gaffney, Project Dir.; Capital Center, Providence, RI,
Mark Unger, Project Mgr.; The Maguire Group, Providence, RI,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 10, Pg. 39-41

Document Type: Feature article


In Providence, project teams from the public and private sector worked side-by-side, rerouting two rivers and constructing a new corporate headquarters. What made the task more challenging was that the two projects shared a site only slightly larger than the building itself. The projects are actually part of Providence's massive Capital Center program, a 12-year, $140 million urban renewal plan started in 1982 to reunite and reinvigorate the city. For more than 100 years, railroad tracks running through the heart of Providence had separated the capitol from the central business district. The Capital Center plan was hatched to relocate the tracks and build a new train station. This would free up almost 60 acres of land for commercial, residential and retail development, public parks and the relocated railroad tracks and city streets. Later on, state and city planners began exploring the possibility of relocating the banks of Providence's two downtown rivers (the Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket) and removing the 1,150 ft of ancient decking over the Providence River to reclaim the city's waterfront. The river shift, however, had a dramatic impact on One Citizens Plaza, cutting right through the job site.

Subject Headings: Urban areas | Urban and regional development | Railroad tracks | Project management | River bank stabilization | Railroad stations | Rail transportation

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