Pawtuxet River restoration project completed in Coventry

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COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — A major project to restore the bank of the Pawtuxet River in Coventry, which was damaged during the 2010 historic floods, is now complete.

Coventry Council President Glen Shibley joined members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation and other officials Friday for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the project.

Back in the Spring of 2010, the buildings of Anthony Mill and Concordia Fibers Tower in were impacted by the historic floods.

“The bridge went out, both buildings came down crumbling in the corners. And the flooding was ferocious,” said Shibley.

Shibley, who lives nearby, said the whole neighborhood was affected by the floods.

“Our neighborhood was cut off for over a year,” he said.

The funds for the $3.5 million project to repair the riverbank were secured with the help of the Town of Coventry, the Rhode Island Delegation, and a $3.2 million federal grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Engineer Dean Audet said in addition to restoring the walls along the river, the project also involved protecting the infrastructure from future floods.

“So the buildings are now connected to the bedrock below the river,” Audet said. “So even if the river gets scoured out by 10 feet, the buildings will stay.”

Shibley said he is happy to see the project come to fruition.

“It will be six years in March that everything happened, so it’s a great feeling,” he said.

While it is impossible to predict the magnitude of future rainstorms, officials said the infrastructure is designed to withstand the next 100 years.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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