NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A large portion of Newport’s famed Cliff Walk has been closed after suffering extensive damage from Sandy.
City Manager Jane Howington said Thursday that about half of the 3.5-mile seaside walk — one of Rhode Island’s top tourist attractions — was closed after parts of the path and a retaining wall washed away and lots of fencing was knocked down.
‘‘There are a couple of places where there isn’t a path anymore,’’ she told The Associated Press.
The closed portion is from Ruggles Avenue to Ledge Road, the rougher, rockier portion of the trail, which runs behind a string of historic mansions and offers beautiful shoreline views. It was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1975.
Howington said she doesn’t yet have a damage estimate or a timeframe for reopening. Some repair work could be done on the upper portion of what’s closed, from Ruggles Road to the back side of Marble House, and that portion could reopen in the ‘‘not too distant future,’’ she said. But other bigger repairs will take a while.
Portions of the path have been seriously damaged before, including during hurricanes in 1938, 1954 and 1991.
Some of Newport’s Gilded Age mansions, also a major tourist draw, had trees down and windows blown out but otherwise fared well, Howington said. Some of the privately owned mansions, located right on the water, suffered what Howington described as significant damage.
The rotunda and bathing houses at Easton’s Beach were virtually destroyed, and parts of Ocean Drive are among the most heavily damaged roadways in the state. Some businesses at Bowen’s Wharf, which has about 40 retails shops, restaurants and galleries, also reported up to two feet of water inside their stores.