Pawtucket nets $4.8M for Blackstone Bikeway addition

THE 1793 OLD SLATER MILL was one of three historic buildings in Pawtucket acquired by the U.S. National Park Service from the Old Slater Mill Association. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
A PLANNED EXTENSION of the Blackstone River Bikeway, which recently received $4.8 million in federal funding, will start at the Slater Mill historic site in Pawtucket. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PAWTUCKET – The city’s planned construction of a Blackstone River Bikeway extension has received a $4.8 million boost from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

The American Rescue Plan-funded grant, announced by U.S. Commerce Sec. and former R.I. Gov. Gina M. Raimondo on May 17, will finance a planned half-mile addition to the Blackstone River Bikeway in Pawtucket starting at the Slater Mill historic site, said Emily Rizzo, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office.

The project will expand the public sidewalk area for cyclists and pedestrians, Rizzo said, with the half-mile stretch running along the Blackstone River to the Pawtucket Town Landing.

“This section would connect to the section behind City Hall,” Rizzo said, “which provides access to the Central Falls area” and other transit options. 

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The project will be matched with $1.4 million in state and local funds, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, and is set to generate 538 jobs and $284 million in private investment.

Construction will likely begin in 2023, Rizzo said.

The Blackstone River Bikeway begins in Worcester, Mass., and continues in segments to Providence. Around 17 miles of this route are currently composed of paved, off-road trails, according to the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. Contact her at Voghel@PBN.com.

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