The 3.5 mile walk combining a mix of Newport's natural beauty with the architecture of Newport's mansions or, the Cliff Walk, is one of Newport's most popular attractions.
Joseph and Tracy Garrett were exploring Newport on their honeymoon and couldn't miss the popular Cliff Walk. "We drove by and saw the sign and I said alright that's where we have to go, there's a Cliff Walk, I've heard a lot about it so we came down to take a walk and it's gorgeous." Unfortunately, after walking only half the trail, the Garrett's found the rest of the walk blocked off. Superstorm Sandy caused major damage to the second half of the walk.
Evan Smith, President and CEO of Discover Newport explains, "In some areas there was so much erosion that 40–50ft of the Cliff Walk was washed to sea." Recent estimates project the repairs to cost near 8-million dollars and work has yet to begin to make any repairs. This could become a major concern if reconstruction isn't done by the busy summer season. Smith goes on, "It is a catalyst to bring people here, to see our attractions, our restaurants, our stores and we're concerned with half the Cliff Walk damaged and not open to the public there is definitely loss of revenues at this time."
While it is an extensive project, Newport's City Manager, Jane Howington is hopeful for a speedy repair. "It's proving to be expensive, which we expected and very difficult to organize because it is such a remote, hard to get to area for construction equipment to get to but we all still hope to have it done by spring."
Until then, the first section of the Cliff Walk from Memorial Blvd. to Ruggles Ave. will stay open.