The Scenic Aquidneck Coalition recently announced a project to bury utility lines along Third Beach Road and Indian Avenue in Middletown.

Inspired by the 2017 Second Beach project, the Scenic Third Beach Project aims to promote coastal resiliency, restore the historic landscape and enhance the area’s scenic appeal. Recently, the project received unanimous approval from the Middletown Town Council. Planning for the project has been underway for nearly two years.

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The project area along Third Beach Road and Indian Avenue, located in Middletown’s south coast, has been known as “Paradise Valley” since the 18th century. The region is nationally recognized for its history, beauty and wildlife.

Once the aboveground utilities are removed, the community will benefit from enhanced scenic views, a restored historic landscape and improved
resiliency during hurricanes, coastal storms and flooding.

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The project will eliminate 77 utility poles and bury utilities along a 1.2-mile stretch of roadway. Construction is anticipated to begin later in June.

The Scenic Third Beach Project is facilitated by the Scenic Aquidneck Coalition, a collaboration of nonprofit partners working on projects that enhance and preserve the visual quality of Aquidneck Island’s natural and cultural resources.

The Coalition is led by Preserve Rhode Island, The Preservation Society of Newport County, and the Aquidneck Land Trust.

More than ninety percent of the $3.8 million project is being funded through private donations raised from philanthropic individuals as well as a grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.

These private donations anchor the project. The Scenic Aquidneck Coalition hopes that many people who love the Paradise Valley and Third Beach will also support the project by contributing gifts, large and small. In addition, a grant request through the Climate Resiliency program is currently under consideration by the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.

With the recent approval from the Middletown Town Council, construction is scheduled to begin in June and will be conducted to minimize interference with beach traffic.

For more information and to make a donation, please visit ScenicAquidneck.org.

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