New Life For Old Train Tunnel May Be in the Works

Sep 23, 2013

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the head of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation are planning to inspect an abandoned train tunnel in Providence to see how it could be used in the future. The tunnel was built in 1906 connecting the Seekonk River to the Providence River.

The state is looking at ways to use the old east side train tunnel that has sat closed up for decades.
Credit Aaron Reed / RIPR

Gov. Chafee said he’d like to see if it could be opened and used for RIPTA buses. DOT director Michael Lewis said there are no firm plans for the old tunnel and the point of Thursday’s inspection is to see if it’s structurally sound.

“What’s driving this is the requirement to ensure that we know the structural condition of the tunnel, and if anything needs to be done to ensure its structural integrity, that we can do that," said Lewis.

Lewis and the governor will inspect the East Side Railroad tunnel on Thursday. Lewis said it’s been nearly 20 years since the last time anyone checked it out.

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