On Thursday, August 19, the Scenic Aquidneck Coalition celebrated the completion of a project to bury power and communication lines along Third Beach Road and Indian Avenue in Middletown.

Inspired by the 2017 Second Beach project, the Scenic Third Beach Project removes the rest of the poles on Sachuest Point along Third Beach and up Indian Avenue, promoting coastal resiliency, restoring the historic landscape and enhancing the area’s scenic appeal.  

The project area, 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. 77 utility poles and associated wires were removed along the 1.2-mile stretch of roadway in this most recent phase.   

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. 

The full cost of the nearly $4 million project was funded through private donations  raised from philanthropic individuals as well as a grant from the van Beuren Charitable  Foundation. Dwight Sipprelle, a resident of Middletown who spearheaded the project, and Hope “Happy” Van Beuren were honored for their contributions and were congratulated by U.S. Senator Jack Reed who helped obtain federal funding for 2017’s Second Beach project. 

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).