Narrow River Preservation Association
Thursday, August 24, 2017
NRPA: Working since 1970 to preserve, protect, and restore Narrow River and its watershed.

July 26, 2017

More Progress with the Green Economy Bond,
Narragansett Town Council

In our March 22 post, we discussed the award of the $750,000 Green Economy Bond Grant to the Town of Narragansett to design and construct a portion of the final segment of the South County Bike Path (aka Phase 4A).

With the start of the new fiscal year (July 1, 2017) the town has moved forward on this project. At its regular meeting on Monday, July 17, the Town Council formally accepted the Green Economy Bond grant of $750,000 and authorized Town Manager Jim Manni to sign an agreement with the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

A second agenda item awarded to the lowest bidder, DiPrete Engineering, a contract for Professional Engineering, Land Surveying, Permitting and Design Services for Phase 4A of the Bike Path. See the March 22, 2017 post below for a description of the project.

March 14, 2017, revised March 22, 2017


Completion of the South County Bike Path Gets Boost with Green Economy Bond Grant

On Monday, March 13, 2017, Governor Gina Raimondo announced the award of a $750,000 grant to the Town of Narragansett to build a portion of the final segment (Phase 4) of the William C. O’Neill South County Bike Path. (Read the March 13 Press Release.)

A week later, Narragansett took the first step in the process when the Town Council members voted 5 to 0 to instruct town staff to draft a request for proposal for design services. 

The grant is part of the $10 million allocated for bikeway completion and connections in the Green Economy Bond approved by Rhode Island voters in November 2016. Nine other projects will also receive Green Economy Bond funding, including a bike path connection between the University of Rhode Island and the South County Bike Path.

The funding, which is administered by the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, will be available in July.

The funded project, dubbed Phase 4A, includes three components:

  • Provide a safe crossing at Mumford Road where the South County Bike Path currently ends at Mumford Road in Narragansett.

  • Construct the first 1,375 feet of the proposed off-road route through Canonchet Farm to the Narragansett Town Beach. This portion begins at Mumford Road and travels on town property behind the Narragansett Elementary School schoolyard and the adjacent athletic field to a point where the remainder of the Phase 4 route turns northeast to travel on the grade of the SeaView Railroad and through Canonchet Farm.

  • Construct a 375-foot bike path along the east side of the athletic field to the Narragansett Community Center parking lot.

With the loop around the school property, bicyclists and walkers will have a safe entrance to the bike path, enjoy the convenience of public parking spaces and avoid the dangerous vehicular traffic in front of the Narragansett Elementary School. In the meantime, funding for the balance of Phase 4 remains in the 2017-2025 R.I. Transportation Improvement Program as described below.


January 2017

Funding in Place for
Bike Path Completion

A little more than a mile remains to complete the William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path from the Kingston Station to the Narragansett Town Beach, and funding is now in place to finish the bike path with an entirely off-street route through Canonchet Farm. Construction of the path was begun in 2000 using the easement of the former Narragansett Railroad through the Great Swamp, Peace Dale and Wakefield, and with the completion of Phase 3 in 2011, to Mumford Road near the Narragansett Elementary School.

Applications submitted by the Friends of the South County Bike Path and the Town of Narraganset have resulted in budgeting for the final segment of the bike path in the state’s 2017-2025 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), with funding beginning this year for design and construction of the final segment of the path using an “off-road route through Canonchet Farm.” However, the project is phased over the next six years with funding in the out years less certain.

The Green Economy Bond approved by the voters in November 2016 represents a second funding source that may accelerate completion of the path. The R.I. Department of Environmental Management is now reviewing proposals for completing and connecting bikeways around the state including the South County Bike Path.

January 2016

Friends Group Proposes Off-road Path
to Complete the South County Bike Path

On January 7, the Friends of the William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path submitted an application to R.I. Statewide Planning to have Completion of the South County Bike Path via Canonchet Farm, Narragansett, R.I. placed on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for the ten-year period beginning September 1, 2016. Placement on the TIP is the first step in securing Federal and State funding for transportation projects.

NRPA supports the Friends of the Bike Path application, which proposes the same off-road alignment that the Town of Narragansett does in its TIP application.

Click the links below to view the four files that make up Friends of the Bike Path application (please allow time for the selected file to download):

 ♦ Cover Page 

 ♦ Application Narrative

 ♦ Site Maps

 ♦ Statement of Proposal Benefits

November 2015

RIDOT Completes Study of
Bike Path Routes

The R.I. Department of Transportation and its consultant, Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, Inc., have completed a feasibility study of the Sea View Route and five alternatives alignments for completion of the William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path from its current southern terminus on Mumford Road in Narragansett to the Narragansett Town Beach.


May 2013

Bike Path to Follow Sea View
Railroad Grade

At its May 6, 2013 regular meeting, the Narragansett Town Council voted to recommend the Sea View Route, which travels on the abandoned Sea View Railroad grade along Pettaquamscutt Cove and then crosses to the upland in Canonchet Farm, as its preferred alignment for the completion of the William C. O’Neill Bike Path. The proposal is now with the R.I. Department of Transportation for evaluation and preliminary design.

The plan was developed by an ad hoc committee of representatives from the Friends of the William C. O’Neill Bike Path, Friends of Canonchet Farm, Narragansett Tree Society and NRPA, which was facilitated by State Representative Teresa Tanzi.

“By using the railroad grade, we are able to cross the wetlands on the west side of Canonchet Farm, protect the existing walking trails and provide users with a spectacular view of lower Narrow River,” says NRPA’s Jon Boothroyd, who represented NRPA on the committee and who did the mapping of the route.

The proposed route was presented to the Narragansett Town Council on March 18, 2013. Click the title page to the right for the full presentation.



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NRPA is a member of the R.I. Rivers Council and has served as the Designated Watershed Council for Narrow River since 2002.


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