WATERVILLE — The city has submitted a request for proposals for an engineering design of a public boardwalk along the Kennebec River at Head of Falls.

The city put out the request for sealed proposals last week. It is asking firms to submit architectural and landscape design proposals for a river walk to be built on open space to the north of the Two Cent Bridge and attached Two Cent Plaza. The City Council in October approved appropriating up to $20,000 from remaining money in a decade-old waterfront loan to pay for the engineering designs.

Submissions are due by Feb. 1. A city advisory committee will review the proposals and recommend a selection to the City Council. A winning bid will be selected in February, according to the request.

Tentative plans are for a 900-foot-long concrete walkway built upon an existing foundation wall, with lighting and an architectural railing on the river side, according to the request. It also could include interpretive historical panels, a gazebo-type structure and sculptures or other art.

“The integration of the design within its urban and natural context is very important given its location and function in revitalizing the waterfront,” the request said.

Head of Falls, once the site of a mill and a residential neighborhood, has been vacant since buildings at the site were torn down in the 1960s. Starting in 2003, the city invested more than $1 million to put electric, sewer and water lines into the area to encourage redevelopment, but the area is still a vacant lot.

Recently, officials have tried to stimulate public interest in the property by asking residents for their opinions on the best way to use the space.

Waterville officials have been discussing putting a river walk on the underused waterfront for years. In December 2014, the City Council approved $2,500 for preliminary river walk designs.

The river walk project got a boost last July when the Waterville Rotary Club donated $150,000 to the effort, along with a $15,000 contribution from Kennebec Messalonskee Trails. A few years ago, the river walk project cost was estimated to be $400,000. When the Rotary Club gave the city the grant, City Manager Mike Roy said additional money could come from state grants, Colby College and the Waterville Development Corp.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire


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