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By Chris Barrett
PBN Staff Writer
WARWICK – For the first time in 15 years, the public will have regular access to a portion of the former Rocky Point Amusement Park.
On Friday, Warwick will officially open 41 acres of shoreline property that the city purchased in 2008 for $4 million. The public park – to be open daily from dawn to dusk – is envisioned as a place for passive recreation such as walking, bicycling and fishing.
To accommodate visitors the city constructed an asphalt walkway along the shore, built a parking lot near the entrance to the former amusement park and planted native trees with the help of donations from Shaw’s Supermarkets and Pepsi Corp. The city also demolished some small cottages.
“There was a lot of work that needed to be done,” said Sue Baker, spokeswoman for Mayor Scott Avedisian.
The city also installed a fence around the 83 acres of the park that remains in receivership and under the control of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Off limits to visitors include the former midway, the Shore Dinner Hall and areas that once boasted amusement rides.
Eventually, the city hopes to combine its new park with the remainder of the former amusement park. Last year, voters approved a $10 million bond to purchase the land and preserve it as open space.
The state now must convince a bankruptcy judge to approve a sale of the land.