State plans to repair bike path this fall

State plans to repair bike path this fall

LINCOLN – They call it the “washboard” section of the Blackstone River Bikeway, a stretch of pathway where tree roots have raised the pavement, creating a roller coaster for cyclists and rollerbladers.

Fortunately for those users, the state is planning to repair areas of the bikeway running through Cumberland and Lincoln this fall.

In a letter to Public Works Director Michael Gagnon detailing the work, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced its intention to fix parts of “segments five and six” of the Blackstone River Bikeway along the Cumberland/Lincoln line, starting at the Willow Way Bridge in Lincoln and ending at Maple Street, off Broad Street.

These segments of the bike path, which is maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, were built in 1997 and 2000. Over the years, tree roots have heaved sections of the pavement, creating a hazard.

According to the letter, the repairs are planned for this fall and will be paid for using recreational trail funding.

The scope of the work includes, but is not limited to, removing select trees along the bike path and tree root pruning, replacing the pavement and gravel sub-base where the path has been damaged by roots, replacing loam and seed in the repair areas, and smoothing out pavement joint locations.

An asphalt emulsion surface will be laid on the entire length of segments five and six, which will then be re-striped.

A RIDEM spokesperson said the project is expected to go out to bid in mid- to late October. The repairs will be performed this fall, and the work is expected to be completed by late May 2020.

Costs for the project will be available once a contractor has been selected, according to RIDEM.

The Valley Breeze reported last fall that the RIDEM promised to invest some money into the bike path after a string of injuries along the washboard section.

Ted Tobin, a seasoned cyclist, said he hit a tree root near the 11.5-mile marker that launched him off his bike and sent him to the doctor with several bruised ribs.

Last summer, a Watertown, Mass., resident filed an insurance claim with the town, alleging that she, too, fell when riding over the raised roots in Lincoln and fractured her elbow.

“I don’t want to be outrageous, but somebody is going to end up seriously hurt or killed,” said Bladimir Rodriguez, who uses the path often.

In response to complaints, the RIDEM marked the roots with yellow paint a few years ago, painting over them in white last summer.


The section of bike path the RIDEM is proposing to repair is NOT the problem, the problem of the so called "washboard" starts with a section about a 1/4 mile North of the Willow Way bridge and is at it's worst just after Ashton Mills before the 295 overpass and between Northern Lincoln Elem. and the Manville Parking area off New River Road!!! Wherever they are going is WRONG!

Gee, I'd like to get our first full bike path through Woonsocket before 2030! But, I guess they don't have to fix what they don't give us. Oh well, it's just how the state always treats Woonsocket!