In December, officials announced they hoped to re-open Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge by the end of January 2013, however recent winter storms has delayed the work. A new date has not been released.
The refuge was closed due to unsafe and hazardous conditions caused by Hurricane Sandy. The high surf created unstable banks and washed up concrete slabs on Sachuest Point Road, which left it impassable.
“Unfortunately we will be unable to reopen the refuge to the public until the road is repaired because our current 4-wheel drive access roads are not adequate for emergency response if necessary,” said Sarah Lang, Volunteer Coordinator with the refuge. Lang added the contract to repair the road has been awarded by the The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, but the work is weather dependent.
“Refuge staff and volunteers are diligently working to restore the refuge so that as soon as the road work is complete, we will be able to reopen the refuge to the public.” said Lang.
In addition to the road repairs, the contractor will build a stone armor to shield against future storms, said Robert Smith, Deputy Chief Engineer for the Department of Transportation.
“This isn’t a quick fix,” said Refuge Manager Charlie Vandemoer.
For more information on the project to open the refuge, including improvements to the trails click here.