By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff
NARRAGANSETT — Repairs to the Newport Cliff Walk received approval Wednesday from the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC).
The $8 million federally funded project will make repairs to a 2.3-mile stretch of the National Heritage Trail between Ruggles Avenue and Bailey’s Beach, at the end of Bellevue Avenue. The state Department of Transportation said the bidding process will occur this fall. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2014 and is expected to conclude by June of next year. The work includes concrete and stone foundation repairs, new walkways, decorative railings and landscaping.
The project ran into opposition from surfers after original plans included stone jetties at a popular surfing area off Ruggles Avenue. The jetties were removed from the final plans. A temporary barge will be floated along the sea wall during construction.
Portions of the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk remain closed after damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
CRMC council member Guillaume de Ramel, a resident of Newport, was the sole vote against the proposal. He wanted to hold out for additional federal funds to pay for additional property damage caused by the hurricane. “I think New Jersey is getting a billion dollars. New York is getting billions of dollars. This ($8 million) is a pittance,” he said.