Just below East Side Providence, lies an abandoned underground railroad tunnel, once used to connect passengers and freight between New York and Boston. Decommissioned in 1980, the railroad has fallen into disrepair. Prior to railroad transportation, Providence was one of the busiest water ports throughout the 18th and 19th century. As the city has evolved over the 20th century, the expansion of the automobile has replaced alternative modes of transportation such as train and boat.
In an effort to provide additional mobility options around Providence and reactivate the waterways back into everyday public life, an adaptive reuse approach to both the tunnel and the natural environment will achieve both.
The Waterloop is a proposal to connect all the surrounding waterways bordering Providence as one continuous network.
To create this closed loop, the East Side Railroad Tunnel will be restored back to an operable transit option. However, rather than offering train service, the tunnel will be transformed into a rapid boat transit system connecting downtown Providence to East Providence.
This proposal focuses on the accessibility from street level down into the tunnel. These new stations, scattered along East Side Providence, provide an entrance into the tunnel as well as public space above street level.