Sunday, October 17, 2010

River Island Park - October 16th

The Woonsocket Falls gage was over 900 cfs yesterday, so I headed down to River Island Park for a couple of hours. The steep banks of the river kept me out of the wind, and I worked up a pretty good sweat.

River Island Park from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

For good or bad, this section of the Blackstone was in the news a couple of times this week - first because the Army Corps of Engineers is beginning a $1.5M project to remove trees and other vegetation from the two miles of flood control levees which line the banks of the river in this area, and second because work has begun on a plan to extend the Blackstone River Bikeway from Davidson Street up to Market Square in Woonsocket.

I must admit, I have mixed emotions about the flood control work. While I understand the devastation that floods can cause, I’m not looking forward to the to having the trees removed from the banks of the river. There are two nice runs in Woonsocket – Cold Spring Park and River Island Park – and both will look dramatically different. Whether we like it or not, the Army Corps of Engineers now controls the flood control system, and they seem determined to move forward.

Talk of extending the Blackstone River Bikeway up to River Island Park left me a little more encouraged – especially the talk of improving river access and parking along what is now the Truman Bypass.

This is a fun section of the river, but access is problematic.  Extending the Bikeway into downtown Woonsocket is a big project with some difficult challenges to overcome – I need to find out how I can get involved.

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