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Cliff Walk Shore and Bank Protection Project

Cliff Walk

Cliff Walk in Newport is a popular scenic and historical walkway bordering the edge of eroding bluffs and cliffs along the city’s southeastern shoreline. Extending 3.5 miles southerly from Newport (Eastons) Beach, around Lands End, and ending near Bailey Beach, Cliff Walk overlooks Rhode Island Sound and traverses privately-owned land surrounding many of Newport’s showplace mansions. The public footpath is situated about three miles east of Brenton Point in Newport and 25 miles south of Providence.

The project originally called for the construction of shore protection measures along much of the the walkway’s 18,000 feet. Due to a limitation of local funding available at that time, only 70 percent of the project was completed. The completed work covered a total area of approximately 9,200 feet between Newport Beach and the west property line of the Marble House at Sheep Point. This work involved constructing stone breakwaters and stone slope protection, repairing existing seawalls, using fill to strengthen Cliff Walk’s intermittent reaches, and grading and surfacing the walk. This part of the project began in May 1971 and was completed in September 1972 at a cost of $1.4 million. The uncompleted 30 percent, much of which was situated near Salve Regina College, was placed in an "inactive" status until such time as additional local funding was available.

In the early 1980’s, local officials indicated a desire and willingness to resume construction of that part of the unfinished project situated near Salve Regina College. After receiving appropriate funding in 1982, the Corps completed design plans for the additional work. However, because the city planned to use funding provided by the National Park Service to construct the work, further Corps’ involvement was precluded. The Corps gave its design plans to the city in 1984, allowing Newport to complete construction on this additional segment. This part of the project was completed in 1985.