State to replace Tiverton seawall broken by Sandy

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Repairs begin this week on a Tiverton Basin seawall that was undermined by last year's Tropical Storm Sandy.

The $600,000 project is meant to protect a 200-foot stretch of now-vulnerable Riverside Drive in Tiverton from damage or collapse should another storm strike, said Frank Corrao, deputy chief engineer of the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

"The road is fine right now but without repairs to that seawall it could be vulnerable in future storms," Mr. Corrao said.

The contract calls for American Site Corporation of Johnston to replace the damaged seawall with a new stone masonry seawall along a section of Riverside Drive not far north of where the road meets Main Road. The company will then replace the crumbling asphalt sidewalk with a concrete sidewalk and install a new "four-bar rail" in place of the rusted fence that stands there now.

"When they are done the road and sidewalk should not only be more safe and secure but will also look much better," Mr. Corrao said.

This work is part of a $1.4 million contract awarded recently by the DOT that also includes projects in Westerly and Narragansett.

Terms of the contract call for the federal government to pay 80 percent of the bill and for the state to pay the remaining 20 percent.

Before they begin replacing the wall, crews will build a temporary support for the bluff and place erosion controls along the water's edge.

Mr. Corrao said there are no houses in the way of the work and that traffic interruption on Riverside Drive should be limited to an occasional lane closure. Work is expected to be complete by mid-June.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.