It might not seem obvious, but there's a rich history behind the culvert on Third Beach Road right by the Town Beach parking lot. #MiddletownRI
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 842-6543 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“WHERE AM I?” — OCTOBER 2022
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (OCTOBER 6, 2022) – The white stones clearly read “1941.”
If that information is accurate, the concrete culvert home to that date on Third Beach Road has been in place since before the United States entered World War II.
To make sure the culvert was clear so water could flow into the Sakonnet River, crews working for town used to clear sand out of the mouth of the Maidford River on Third Beach with bulldozers and other heavy equipment.
But in the spring of 2016, the town, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other partners rethought that approach.
Instead of plowing out the yards and yards of sand only to have Mother Nature refill it within a day, maybe another course made more sense.
Officials noted at the time this was especially true because the meandering waterway on the east side of Middletown didn’t originally empty at Third Beach at all.
Rather, it was rerouted in the 1880s from where it naturally emptied into Sachuest Bay by the Surfer’s End of Second Beach. That work was done to capture drinking water from the Maidford into the Nelson and Gardiner Pond reservoirs.
Today, the water from the Maidford now empties most days through a water quality structure between the Third Beach boat ramp and the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge.
However, during periods where there’s especially heavy rains, the area at Third Beach has been known to open back up again.
The last time this was recorded was in September 2021, when remnants from Hurricane Ida slammed the region, causing significant flooding in a number of lower areas of Middletown.
Document Link: https://www.middletownri.com/DocumentCenter/View/5849/WAI-October-2022