Tiverton Harbor at Risk, Says Official

Anglers fish for tautog near the Stone Bridge abutment off Portsmouth
Photo by Tom Richardson

 

An editorial on EastBayRI.com by Bruce H. Cox, Chairman of the Tiverton Harbor and Coastal Waters Management Commission, says that “emergency action” is needed to address accelerated erosion of the Stone Bridge abutment on the Tiverton side of the Sakonnet River in Rhode island. The cause of the erosion, says Cox, is the increased water flow created by the removal of the old train trestle, its round base, the dredging of the channel to the east of the base, and the removal of the western end of the trestle structure.Stone-Bridge-abutment

“The width and depth of the channel opening, as a result of all this, has increased,” writes Cox. “Not only was the base removed; the channel between it and the Tiverton shore was dredged. Thousands of cubic yards of material were removed. This allows millions more gallons of water to flush into the channel than before.”

The increased current has already affected some Tiverton boaters, who have had to upgrade to larger mooring balls when the original balls would no longer remain above the surface during peak-tide stages. Changes have occurred in the bottom contours of the basin, as well, where a number of areas have silted in, while other areas have gotten deeper.

In conclusion, Cox states that if the situation is not addressed immediately, the Stone Bridge abutment will fail, leaving the Tiverton waterfront vulnerable to wave action created by the prevailing southwest winds, as well as major tidal surges that could inundate the basin unchecked.

 

Read the entire editorial: