NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The Newport City Council approved an additional $64,000 to expand an engineering study of the two damaged portions of the scenic Cliff Walk.
The oceanside attraction was first damaged last March, when a small section of the Cliff Walk crumbled onto the beach below.
More recently, the massive waves that licked the seawall during last month’s storm damaged the armor stone on the Cliff Walk’s engineered slope, which was reinforced following Superstorm Sandy.
“It’s at risk from mother nature,” Newport City Manager Joseph Nicholson said. “We need to look at this area to see what can be done to shore it up.”
Thankfully, city spokesperson Thomas Shevlin said the Cliff Walk itself wasn’t damaged in the storm, adding that it’s actually part of the path that’s been closed since last spring.
The Cliff Walk has remained open, according to Shevlin, who said there’s currently a four-minute detour in place around the damaged section.
GZA GeoEnvironmental is conducting the study and will come up with recommendations on how to repair the Cliff Walk.
Discover Newport CEO Evan Smith tells 12 News the Cliff Walk attracts roughly 1.3 million tourists annually, which is why the city needs to make an effort to preserve it.
“People come from all over the United States and the world to see it,” Smith said. “It’s very important to us.”
Newport Mayor Xay Khamsyvoravong agreed.
“The Cliff Walk is part of our DNA,” he said.
Once the study is complete, the city will come up with a plan to make the necessary repairs.