Barrington Beach will soon start to get a facelift that will improve water quality at the same time.
The Town Council voted unanimously at a special meeting on Monday, Sept. 23, to award a bid for more than $358,000 to William Anthony Excavating of North Kingstown.
Most of the money, about $250,000, is coming from a streets and drainage bond. The rest is coming from a State Revolving Fund Loan for “green infrastructure” improvements at the beach, including rain gardens and other drainage improvements that will help to halt erosion.
“The look will change significantly after the work is completed,” said Town Planner Phil Hervey. “But the work is being done primarily to handle runoff and erosion.”
Work on the beach is expected to begin in October, said Town Planner Phil Hervey. That will mean the beach will not have any parking for vehicles.
Changes to the beach will include a new parking configuration, razing of the concrete-block building at the entrance on Bay Road, removal of the metal and wooden guardrails, replacement of the guardrails with bollards, new benches, racks for 26 bicycles, and a variety of plantings that will help to funnel and filter runoff from Bay Road while also preventing heavy waves from undermining the parking area.
A drainage swale also will be built on Water Way to handle runoff on the walkway on the hill overlooking the west end of the beach, where bacteria count are always the highest. It combines rip-rap and sediment forebays to capture and filter water to reduce the speed of the runoff and screen pollutants while maintaining the walkway down the slope to the beach.
There will be a net loss of 28 parking spaces, said Hervey.
But the grassy area near the new beach house will be set up as an alternate lot
Hervey said most of the work should be completed before winter. The reconstruction will definitely be complete next spring for the summer of 2014.