New video: Seaside Gas comes tumbling down

Station removal opens grand view of Sakonnet River ·

TIVERTON — A town backhoe ripped into the former Seaside Gas Station on Main Road Wednesday morning and quickly gave passersby a glimpse of the view they will soon enjoy.

Starting with the back (west) wall, backhoe operator Roger St. Ours pulled away sections of cinderblock wall — each chunk revealing a bigger stretch of the harbor and Sakonnet River.

First, though, a few of those who have worked to see this day happen took ceremonial sledge hammer whacks at the wall.

Among those taking turns were were Brian Janes of the open space commission, town councilors Joan Chabot and Patricia Hilton, Town Administrator Matt Wojcik and David Stewart of the harbor commission.

“We’ve been waiting for years and years and years to see what the view would be at this location with the gas station gone” Ms. Hilton said. “I think everybody is going to be excited to see what it feels like to come down the hill on Main Road and see this vista ... it’s definitely the first big step in the renovation of the beach and creation of a seaside park.”

“An absolutely wonderful day — it will be so great to see this eyesore gone,” Mr. Stewart said. “This is the start of what I believe will be one of the biggest improvements to the Tiverton waterfront ever.”

Taking the place of the station building will be grassy open areas overlooking Grinnell’s Beach, benches and sail structures to provide shade.

Also watching the progress was Anthony Gomez of Hoffman Engineering Co. Hired by the town, the firm is helping insure that underground septic tanks are properly removed along with storm drains that pass through the site.

Gas hasn’t been pumped at the station in years and the building and surrounding waterfront lot were acquired in 2014 thanks in part to a RIDEM recreation facility acquisition grant.

And recently came word that the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has awarded the Town a $393,237 grant to fund a restoration, improvement, and enhancement-of-access project at Grinnell’s Beach.

"Grinnell’s Beach is a small, historic waterfront access point enjoyed by recreational anglers, sunbathers and swimmers of all ages, located on Main Road adjacent to the Stone Bridge abutment," said Town Administrator Matt Wojcik in a release describing the grant.

That grant application and compliance effort also included funding for the removal of the station’s underground fuel storage tanks and related environmental compliance efforts, he said.


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