WATERVILLE — The city plans to put a $900,000 river-walk project out to bid in August that will include a boardwalk, a children’s play area, an amphitheater, a gazebo and a 900-foot long boardwalk with railings at Head of Falls near the Two Cent Bridge.

The RiverWalk Advisory Committee met Wednesday at City Hall with consultants from Mitchell & Associates landscape designers, of Portland, to continue finalizing plans.

The Waterville Rotary Club in 2015 donated $150,000 toward the project as a way to celebrate the club’s centennial anniversary. City Manager Michael Roy, who heads the committee, said the city hopes to hire a contractor in September to do the work, some of which can be done this fall. Work would resume in the spring and the project would be completed in time for the Rotary Club to celebrate the opening September 22, 2018.

The city applied for a $300,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund managed by the National Park Service and was notified it was one of three municipalities in Maine to be approved for grant money. The funds would come through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the city is awaiting final confirmation of funds.

Colby College donated $75,000 for the project; Waterville Development Corp. gave $50,000; Kennebec Messalonskee Trails, $15,000; and Inland Hospital, $10,000, according to Roy.

“We’re going to design for a $900,000 project, hoping that we can raise the additional funds as we go forward,” Roy said.


Committee members Wednesday said they want to move the “Ticonic” sculpture on The Concourse to Head of Falls to be part of the project there.

The sculpture was created by artist Roger Marjorowicz, of Whitefield, who died in 2015.

“I think the message from today’s meeting is this committee is seriously interested in proposing to the City Council the relocation of the “Ticonic” sculpture to make it part of the river-walk project,” Roy said.

The river-walk development will include interpretive features, panels with historical information, a restroom and a lighted walkway. The rail and fence on the boardwalk will have features similar to those on the Two Cent Bridge.

Committee member Lisa Hallee talked about features of the park that could present naming opportunities, including the gazebo, the children’s play area and the amphitheater. She said there could be an opportunity for lower-level donors to have names of their choice etched in granite pavers. It is not about the money so much as it is about being able to buy the pavers and having donors feel they can take ownership of the park, according to Hallee.

“People take real pride in that,” she said. “It’s a win-win. It may cost you some money to do the pavers, but it’s a net gain.”


Roy said during the meeting that the committee wants to light the Two Cent Bridge, though there is no definite plan yet for doing that.

“Can I put in a plug for LED lighting?” asked committee member Winifred Tate, who also is a city councilor.

The city several years ago installed water, sewer, electricity and parking at Head of Falls, which is off Front Street. The intention was to draw developers to the site and use part of it for green space and possibly an amphitheater, but that development did not occur.

However, the city in 2010 built a plaza west of the Two Cent Bridge that includes benches, an informational kiosk, walkway and landscaping. It is a popular place for people to sit and enjoy the Kennebec River, walk their animals, hike and bicycle.

Amy Calder — 861-9247


Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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