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The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced that the Edward S. Payne overlook and Mohegan Bluffs staircase on Block Island will be closed to the public due to repairs on the staircase beginning May 23.

DEM says in a press release that it is partnering with the Town of New Shoreham Fire Department to close the parking lot and staircase until the work is completed.  

“Public spaces must be accessible for public enjoyment and accessibility starts with safety,” said DEM Director Terry Gray in a statement. “We hope that those wishing to take in the dramatic view of the Atlantic from the overlook will understand that it must be temporarily closed while the staircase is being repaired. As always, DEM appreciates the partnership of the Town of New Shoreham and The Nature Conservancy in ensuring public access to this spectacular vista.”

The Mohegan Bluffs is around 150 feet high and located on the southeast coast of Block Island. The staircase has over 140 steps that lead from the top of the bluffs to the beach below.

DEM says that its contractor for the project is Cranston-based Sole Source Construction.

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.