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FAQs

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When will the road I live on be re-paved?

Although this sounds like a relatively easy question to answer; in actuality, it is quite the contrary as the city’s roadway rehabilitation program is multi-faceted, comprised of a number of rehabilitation and maintenance techniques. The existing condition of the roadway is taken into consideration in the process of program development as is the need for utility improvements. The ultimate goal of improving our infrastructure revolves around our desire to follow planned utility improvements so that roadway surface improvements are the final piece of the construction process. To do so requires a great deal of coordination with all utility companies who own facilities within and below our city’s rights of way, inclusive of gas, water, sewer and storm drainage. The results of these collaborative efforts are numerous as they decrease the chances and likelihood that a new pavement surface might be cut for purposes of repairing a utility service main. Although we can plan for upgrades, we cannot plan for emergencies; we, therefore, can never then completely eliminate the need to cut into a roadway but we can and have minimized them. A well-planned and well-coordinated program leads to a more comprehensive and fiscally responsible system overall. This system has proven to be working well, in fact, it has been highlighted by National Grid during statewide interagency meetings as an example model/municipal program. Time and time again, working collectively and collaboratively yields the best results possible which has proven true in this system development process as well.

What type of roadway improvement techniques are used in the City of Newport?

The simplest and earliest technique to administer to a roadway is crack sealing which is performed early on in a pavement’s life cycle when reflective cracking begins to appears at the surface. The techniques involve injecting hot liquid asphalt into the cracks in order to decrease the ability for water to penetrate to the base layer of the pavement’s structure. Decreasing the likelihood for water penetration increases the overall integrity of the pavement.

A few years after a pavement has been crack sealed, other maintenance techniques will become necessary while may include thin layer surface processes such as chip sealing which seals a roadway’s entire surface area with a rubberized liquid asphalt before rolling a small layer of chip stone into the surface. This type of surface completely seals the roadway form water penetration while helping to preserve its lifecycle.

Pavement rehabilitation techniques also vary and might include the cold plane/overlay method where is only eligible for use on roadways that have a thick existing surface. The process removes a portion of the thickness and replaces that top surface with a new surface of asphalt. During this process, geotextile fabrics may also be placed between the old and new pavement layers in order to add structural integrity to the structure.

Partial depth reconstruction would involve removing and replacing the existing asphalt form a roadway in its entirety or full depth where a roadway is completely reconstructed from its base layer through its surface layer. There is also the pavement reclamation technique in which the existing pavement and sub-base layer are pulverized and ground together before being re-compacted to form a new roadway base layer before paving the roadway.

These many techniques are utilized throughout the City of Newport and research into other pavement rehabilitation and maintenance techniques continues in order to assist in our overall program development.

 

Why do potholes form?

A pothole is formed when water that lies beneath a base layer of asphalt freezes and thaws during the winter and early spring. As you know, as water freezes, it expands (think of the process of ice cubes in your freezer.) As the water freezes beneath the asphalt, significant pressure is created which thereby pushes against the flexible materials that comprise asphalt until a void/hole is created. The need to decrease water’s ability to penetrate roadways is thereby evident.

 

When do I need a permit from the Engineering Division?

An excavation permit is required for digging in the city right of way, which includes roadways, sidewalks and shoulder areas.

Usually, they are issued to excavation contractors to work on underground utilities (gas, water, electric, telephone, CATV, sanitary and storm sewer) and curb cuts.

An obstruction permit is required for blocking or obstructing the right-of-way. This would include ladders, staging, dumpsters, etc. They can be issued to general contractors and homeowners.

A drain layer permit is required for working on any sanitary sewer, public or private. They can only be issued to licensed drain layers.

 

What do I need to secure a permit?

For all excavation permits, a completed application and plans are submitted to Engineering, then to the Director of Public Works for review. If approved, the applicant must post a $5,000 performance bond and a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance.

For obstruction permits, a completed application and sketch, if required, are submitted to Engineering for review. If approved, the applicant must post a minimum of $300,000 in liability insurance.

All insurance policies must name the City of Newport as an additional insured.

 

What are the permit fees?

For excavation permits, there is a $60 fee for the first 15 feet of excavation, and an additional $8 for every five feet of excavation, regardless of width.

For example, a 20' trench dug in the grass shoulder of Ocean Drive for an electrical service would cost $68, and a 2000' trench for a new gas main in Broadway would cost $3236 ($60 for the first 15' and $8 for every five feet thereafter.

For obstruction permits, the fee is $25 per day for the first 30 days.

 

How do I get a curb cut for my property?

First, a plan or sketch of the proposed curb cut showing dimensions should be submitted to the Engineering Division for review.

An area of nine feet wide by twenty feet long (9' x 20') per vehicle is required on the property for each vehicle. Three or more residential and all commercial property requires a turn around, with no backing into the right of way.

Upon approval, a contractor must secure an excavation permit (see permit requirements), and is responsible for delivering all removed curb to Public Works.

All work shall be done as directed by the Engineering Division, and all costs associated with the curb cut shall be paid by the property owner.

 

No one has plowed my street yet. When will it be plowed?

Snow plowing operations are in effect for snowfalls of approximately two (2) inches or more. The city is divided into seven (7) plowing areas with personnel assigned to each area.

Plowing in each area is prioritized with main roads, hills and areas around schools being addressed first.

The length of time it takes city crews to plow 94 miles of roads varies depending on the intensity of the snowfall, breakdowns of equipment, amount of traffic on the roads and available personnel.

City personnel face additional difficulties in Newport due to narrow streets, parked cars on roadways, one way traffic, steep hills and poor visibility. The city advises that all motorists stay off the roadways, if at all possible, during a snowstorm.

 

Are there any parking bans in Newport during snowstorms?

Yes. City ordinance marks the following streets as tow zones for emergency snow removal work:

Annandale Road
Bedlow Avenue
Bellevue Avenue, from Kay Street to Bowery Street
Bliss Road
Broadway
Coggeshall Avenue
East Bowery Street
Farewell Street
Friendship Street
Gibbs Avenue
Gould Street
Kay Street
Powell Avenue
Spring Street
Summer Street
Thames Street
Third Street
Van Zandt Avenue, from J.T. Connell Memorial Road to Malbone Road
Warner Street
Washington Square
Washington Street
West Marlborough Street
West Narragansett Avenue
William Street

 
Motor vehicles parked on such streets one-half hour after the public ban has been announced may be ticketed and/or towed by the Police Department.

 

Why do plows always push the snow against the parked cars?

 

The City must remove the snow from the traveled portion of the road. Generally, the snow is pushed towards the parked cars on narrow streets to prevent damage to these vehicles. In the pavement, you will see various cast-iron utility castings such as manhole covers, sewer covers, water gate boxes, gas gate boxes, etc. If one of these gates is slightly raised the plow can catch the lip of the cover causing the truck to be jolted and slide sideways. Due to the fact that the plow blades are slanted to push the snow to the side of the truck, when the plow catches a utility cover, the truck is jolted in the opposite direction. If the plow driver were pushing the snow to the non-parking side of the street, the truck would be jolted into the parked vehicles causing damage to both the City truck and the parked cars. So to try and minimize these types of collisions, we push the snow towards the cars which will slide the plow away from the cars when they catch a raised utility cover. On wider streets plows can clear lanes that are not directly adjacent to parked vehicles away from the cars.

On two-way streets where there is only parking on one side, the plow operator cannot push the snow away from the parked cars into the oncoming traffic, as it would create a hazard and liability. Snow is always pushed away from the oncoming traffic. When heavy snowfalls are predicted, residents are asked where possible not to park on the roads. This is done to reduce the occurrence of plowing in parked vehicles, eliminating the chance of damaging vehicles, and allowing for a more efficient plowing operations.

 

Who is responsible for shoveling the snow from the sidewalk in front of my property?

Under City Codified Ordinances, 9.08.110. - Snow removal and disposal, Article A. Any owner, occupant, or other person having the care of any building or lot of land that borders any street or public right-of-way (where there is a sidewalk) shall be responsible to clear the snow creating a pathway at least three (3)  feet wide, for the safe passage of pedestrians within five (5) hours of daylight after the snow stops. The Zoning and Inspection Department may issue citations for non compliance with this ordinance.

 

There isn’t enough room on my property to dispose of the snow on the sidewalk; can I shovel the snow into the street?

Under City Codified Ordinances, 9.08.110. - Snow removal and disposal, Article B. No person shall dispose of any snow by throwing or plowing it onto the travel lane portion of any public roadway; nor shall any snow that is shoveled, plowed or collected be deposited directly into any waterway, including, but not limited to, all fresh water ponds and the waters of Newport Harbor.

Shoveling snow into public streets from vehicles, sidewalks, and private driveways is strictly prohibited and against the law. The Police Department may issue citations for this behavior as it can create a hazardous situation.

 

Why do the plows always push snow into my driveway?

Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided. The snow must, at minimum, be removed from the traveled portion of the roadway but plow drivers are requested to plow curb to curb where possible. When the City receives a heavy snowfall, if possible, do not shovel your driveway until after the plow has gone by. If you must shovel before that, do not throw the snow out into the roadway as you may create a hazard for another vehicle, and if an accident were to occur you might be held liable.

 

Why don't the plows clear my driveway?

The City does not clean driveways for a few reasons: There are thousands of driveways in the City, the task to clear each driveway would be impossible as it would take days or weeks to complete, the mechanics and operation of the plows do not allow a driver to maneuver to clear driveways, and the cost to of time and materials to clear each and every driveway for each snow event would be enormous.

A crosswalk was just repainted and it is very slippery, it seems dangerous!

When pavement markings are first installed, glass beads are dropped into the wet paint so that the beads get embedded into the marking. The glass beads provide retroreflectivity for the pavement marking. Retroreflectivity reflects light back to its original source, hence the spherical shape of the beads, to allows the pavement markings to be seen at night by drivers. When the glass beads are first applied, some of them do not adhere to the marking and create a slippery surface, just like when the house robbers in Home Alone slip on the marbles spread on the floor . Once it rains after the marking has been applied, the excess bead gets washed away and the pavement marking is no longer slippery.

 

Who do I contact regarding a problem with a public building?

If you wish to report a damage or safety issue of a public property, please call(401) 845-5804, during normal business hours.

For reporting issues after hours contact Police Emergency: (401) 847-1212

 

How can I find out about parking regulations?

In general, parking regulations are covered by City ordinance 10.20. 
Most areas in Newport are covered by parking signage. For questions outside of those covered by ordinance or public signage, the city's Traffic Enforcement team may be reached at the Newport Police Department, Sgt. Jonathan Cortes, (401) 847-5717.

 

What do I do if I receive a parking ticket in error?

To contest a parking ticket, complete the form on the ticket, providing an explanation of why the ticket may have been issued in error. Tickets of this nature are handled by a Municipal Court which convenes each Monday at 1:30 p.m. in the Newport City Hall Council Chambers.

Faulty meters or special circumstances are reviewed directly by our Traffic Enforcement Sergeant, Christopher Hayes at (401) 847-1306, who will initiate contact for additional information. If a Municipal Court appearance is warranted or required, an appearance date will be forwarded to you.

 

Who do I contact if my car has been towed?

All vehicle tows, whether towed by the police department or by local towing companies under contract with the city, are logged at the police department.

To verify that the vehicle was towed, contact the police department dispatch desk at (401) 847-1306.