2013-11-28 / Front Page

Cliff Walk Repairs Take Shape

By Barry Bridges


Replacement armor stone is hoisted into place near Rough Point. Replacement armor stone is hoisted into place near Rough Point. At its monthly meeting on Nov. 20, the Newport Cliff Walk Commission received an update on the $3.2 million Cliff Walk restoration effort. DOT engineers briefed commission members on progress made by the project contractor, the John Rocchio Corp. Repairs to the famous public walk are necessary because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy about 13 months ago.

Commission Chair Robert B. Power told Newport This Week that the project is about 30 percent finished, with significant work completed around Bailey’s Beach, including the pointing and grouting of masonry walls, new concrete wall caps, and a new asphalt walkway at the entrance to the beach. Commission members were informed that the restoration work from Bailey’s Beach to Ledge Road is complete, with that section expected to reopen by Dec. 6. The remainder of the damaged section from Ledge Road north to Ruggles Avenue is scheduled to remain closed for reconstruction until June 14, 2014.


Rebuilt stone steps north of Ledge Road. Rebuilt stone steps north of Ledge Road. As one of the only public streets with direct access to the Cliff Walk, Ledge Road is an essential element to the project and has been used by construction crews to transport heavy machinery and masonry materials. Work around Ledge Road is moving forward, with crews capping a sea wall, excavating and placing new concrete walks, and rebuilding stone masonry stairs. New pathways are done north of Ledge Road, and armor stone walls in the vicinity that were shifted during the storm are being reconstructed or reinforced.

In addition, critical work is continuing around Rough Point, the estate of the late Doris Duke. Many of the rocks making up an integral part of the Cliff Walk in that area were lost and have to be replaced. New riprap and concrete walks are in the works. In addition to the Ledge Road entrance, construction crews are using temporary roadways across the historic property to gain access to the worksite. Upon completion of the project in the spring, the roads will have to be removed and the grounds restored to their original appearance.


Rough Point is currently hosting temporary construction access roads. (Photos courtesy of RIDOT) Rough Point is currently hosting temporary construction access roads. (Photos courtesy of RIDOT) The portion of the walk from Ruggles Avenue north to Memorial Avenue was not significantly damaged and has remained open during construction on the path’s southern end.

The next meeting of the Newport Cliff Walk Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 18.

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