Pare Corporation was retained by the RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) to complete engineering design services for the replacement of a steel sheet pile bulkhead retaining the Roger Wheeler State Beach. The stated goal was to design “a resilient universally accessible boardwalk, that prevents the migration of sand from blowing into the parking lots.” The sand from the beach was continuously being swept into the parking lot, requiring a substantial cleanup effort from State crews. RIDEM’s goal was to replace the existing stockade fence with a new barrier to minimize the amount of sand that is transported to the parking lot, while maintaining a view of the water and beach from the new boardwalk. (Photo above is existing conditions.)
Pare developed four schematic alternatives. The selected approach includes a new concrete boardwalk supported by precast concrete piles on one side of the boardwalk and a new concrete retaining wall integrated into the existing steel sheet pile wall on the other. The design incorporates timber stairs and ramps, a decorative aluminum sand fence, and shade structures along each section of the boardwalk east and west of the existing pavilion. It will also create a widening of the boardwalk to maintain access and opportunities for visitors to take in the view of the beach and waterfront.
Construction is expected to take place in Fall 2023.