This story was originally published on November 13th at 7:40 pm, it has been updated.
After several months of being closed (and much debate), Court House Street will be soon reopening.
The passage by Council of a resolution regarding the closure of Court House Street and the withdrawal of a resolution asking the City Council to support the closure, combined to see the historic street reopen after several months of closure.
The City Council resolution, which was sponsored by Councilor Leonard, states;
“Whereas, The City Council authorized the closure of Court House Street from July 1, 2019, to September 30, 2019, in Resolution 2019-59, which was adopted on June 16, 2019; and
Whereas, because of delays in implementation of that closure, the end date of the closure period was extended to October 15, 2019; now therefore be it
Resolved; the City Council directs the city administration to restore the traffic pattern at Court House Street to the configuration that existed prior to July 1, 2019, as soon as possible, and in no case later than December 1, 2019, unless the City Council otherwise expressly authorizes by vote of the City Council to allow the closure of that street to continue beyond that date”.
UPDATE: Friday, November 15th – According to signs posted in the area of Court House Street, Court House Street will reopen on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Work will begin at 6 am and will be completed by 8 am.
After an introduction from Councilor Leonard, Leonard stated that her phone has been ringing off the hook since the closure. She also stated, “On October 15th, the decision was made by City Staff to keep the street closed for another month without Council approval”. Leonard also said, “Here we are another month and it’s not on this agenda. I think it’s time to make a decision because it’s gone on for a long time”. Councilor Leonard also referenced State Preservation & Heritage Commission “greatly prefers” Court House Street remains fully functional. Leonard said that she thinks its time for the members of council to make a decision on the closure.
Mayor Bova stated that the Church Community Housing Corp. and Newport Spring Advisory Committee would be withdrawing their request of the City to endorse the plan for the Historic Newport Town Spring Park later in this evening’s meeting.
After some discussion, Leonard’s resolution passed 7 – 0.
Church Community Housing Corp. and Newport Spring Advisory Committee still provided their traffic analysis (item #16 on the agenda) and a lawyer for the group confirmed that they would be withdrawing item #17 on the agenda (which was asking the City of Newport to endorse the plan).
As far as what become of the Historic Newport Spring Project and the former gas station, it will still become a park but will not include Court House Street. “We heard from the community and we’re going back to the drawing board,” the lawyer stated.
Watch the discussion and/or meeting now below (video provided by the city); discussion on Closure of Court House Street begins at 57:24.
This story is developing. More information and reaction to come.
More of our coverage on this topic;
- November 7, 2019 – State Preservation & Heritage Commission “greatly prefers” Court House Street remains fully functional
- November 6, 2019 – Newport City Council will consider how to move forward with Court House Street on November 13th
- October 16, 2019 – Court House traffic pattern to remain in place for Environmental Testing
- July 29, 2019 – City to start test of proposed new traffic pattern at Spring Street/Touro Street
- June 26, 2019 – City Council will temporarily close Courthouse Street this summer to simulate Newport Spring Project
- December 10, 2018 – Letter To The Editor: Council Resolution to endorse plan to close Court House Street
- December 20, 2017 – Letter To The Editor: Keep Court House Street closed