HALLOWELL — The redesign of the state boat landing in Hallowell has been postponed until next year because the bids came in too high, according to officials.

As envisioned, the new design is to include reconfiguration of the paved area and replacement of the concrete boat ramp.

A draft plan shows a more-open traffic pattern that would make it easier for vehicles towing boats to navigate. The plan also shows an increase in the number of parking spaces.

Jim Britt, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Agricultural, Conservation and Forestry, said bids for the project came in at $288,000 and $294,000, which are “significantly higher” than the $200,000 to $225,000 the department had budgeted for the redesign.

Britt also said the seasonal natures of boat ramp and paving work prohibit the project from going out to bid again this year.

Heidi Niermeyer, of Boothbay, walks Tuesday across the parking lot at the Hallowell Boat Launch on the Kennebec River. Reconstruction of the boat launch has been delayed.

Britt said the project will be advertised again in April 2020, and construction could begin after Labor Day (Sept. 7, 2020).


Hallowell City Manager Nate Rudy said the conservation department told him the project would not happen this year and would go out to bid again in April, but did not know additional details.

The boat launch design was approved unanimously by the Hallowell Planning Board in June.

According to minutes from that meeting, Tom Linscott, director of the Boat Facilities Program for the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said the current layout does not allow for the launching of larger boats. With the expected changes, however, more boaters may use the Hallowell launch than other launches in the area.

Along with replacing the concrete boat ramp, the project is to include about 7,000 square feet of new pavement and removal of a tree.

At a meeting of the August City Council, resident Dave Wood opposed the additional pavement and the loss of green space. He said the landing was routinely used as a public gathering place.

“We don’t need to expand the asphalt,” Wood said. “We don’t need to cut down trees. It’s a beautiful spot. Why mess it up?”

The Augusta City Council has directed Rudy to discuss changes to projects with state agencies that could improve pedestrian access to the boat launch, including a crosswalk from Temple Street to the north entrance of the boat landing.

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