Ministerial Road Preservation Association
MRPA
P.O. Box 651 West Kingston RI 02892
ministerialroad@yahoo.com
E-mail the Association

About Us


The Ministerial Road Preservation Association is a grassroots, all volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation of this designated scenic roadway, which dates back to the 17th century. Ministerial Road is Route 110 in Southern Rhode Island. It links Route 1 at Perryville to Route 138 in Kingston. Bordered by abundant rhododendron, mountain laurel, tree canopy and stone walls, Ministerial Road is adjacent to one of the top five biologically diverse wetlands in Rhode Island and a 41 acre Late Archaic Settlement listed in the National Register.


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Support Activities

We focus on preservation needs associated with use of the road including; utility work, development issues, litter control, maintenance issues, and public awareness and education.

Brief History

In 1994 Ministerial Road was named by Scenic America to its list of the Ten Most Endangered Scenic Byways in America because of the major reconstruction plans by the RI Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to widen, straighten and flatten the road. In late 1995, following years of public opposition, and MRPA’s development of an award winning alternative design proposal, RIDOT agreed to a compromise reconstruction plan. This resulted in a much needed simple repaving of the road with the introduction of some traffic calming measures to address safety without altering the character of the road.

Thanks to the work of MRPA, this small 6.4 mile road has positively contributed to the national debate on how to save our scenic and historic roads while so far retaining the qualities that have made it so special to generations of Rhode Islanders.
Details
Scenic Road Designation – What does it mean?
Ministerial Road is one of eight roads in Rhode Island to be designated a scenic road. It received its state designation in 1991 by the RI Scenic Roadways Board (RISRB), a state agency created to oversee the preservation of such roads. Years of efforts to preserve the road have also gained Ministerial Road widespread attention and it is now used as a model nationally.
According to the RISRB, the primary purpose of scenic designation status is preservation which is encouraged with “sensitive design and maintenance standards for the road itself and its right of way; and corridor management to balance development with preservation to ensure that the scenic resources are protected”.

The RISRB’s authority extends over the roadway itself and anything within its right of way. Any construction, maintenance, or physical alteration within the right of way must receive the board’s approval. This can include such things as road construction, routine maintenance, utility work, curb cuts (i.e. driveways for new development), any pruning or alteration of roadside vegetation within the right of way (including work done by utilities and by homeowners), and the placement of signs on the road.
There is a permitting and approval process which must be followed to gain permission for any such work or alterations. The process is designed to be fair and expedient and to safeguard the corridor from major detriments to its scenic and historic character.
Rhode Island Scenic Roadway Regulations
The board meets monthly and can be contacted:

c/o The Scenic Byway Coordinator,
Room 229 The Rhode Island Department of Transportation
Two Capitol Hill,
Providence, RI 02903-1124.

There is also a South Kingstown Zoning Ordinance that applies to Ministerial Road and has been in effect for a number of years. It states that where an area is “ . . . already wooded or contains significant strands of natural vegetation or specimen plant materials, a minimum 50 ft. wide wooded buffer shall be maintained.” Development plan review requirements by the planning department are also included in this ordinance dealing with construction of any residential use having direct frontage on the road.
See Appendix A, Zoning Ordinance, Sec. 505.6. for regulations that apply to Ministerial Road.
Ministerial Road Preservation Association