By Tom Shevlin
Superstorm Sandy is long gone, but its effects are still being felt along Ocean Drive, where a large section of roadway was torn away into the sea following a strong winter storm Dec. 26 and 27.
The damaged area, where Harrison meets Ocean Avenue, had been undergoing emergency seawall repairs after Sandy caused extensive damage to the aging concrete buffer in October.
A section to the southwest that is also being repaired was not damaged in last week's storm, but when crews arrived on scene on Thursday, Dec. 27, they saw a gaping hole where the eastern half of the road should have been.
According to Newport Public Services Director William Riccio, the state Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the Ocean Drive project, has been updating the city on progress there, but it was unclear at press time how much the additional repairs will cost. State and federal funds are being used for the project. Riccio is also following up on efforts to repair the Cliff Walk, where Sandy wreaked havoc on some of the scenic path's more exposed points.
While a firm estimate has not been given, it's expected that the Walk could cost millions to repair.
Newport saw its first significant snowfall of the season on Saturday, Dec. 29 and Sunday, Dec. 30. Riccio said that no problems were reported in that storm, but he reminded residents and business owners to keep sidewalks in front of their properties clear of snow and ice.