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CUMBERLAND — A new pier at Broad Cove Reserve is open for business, with only a few finishing touches left to wrap up the project this month.
Prock Marine Co. built the structure – which includes an 80-foot gangway, floats and float moorings – at its Rockland headquarters over the winter. The company floated it down to Cumberland earlier this spring.
The town’s Public Works Department has built a walkway that connects from an access road to both the pier and the Casco Bay beach. Construction of a handrail along those paths is the remaining step.
The Town Council in July 2018 unanimously accepted a $552,000 bid from Prock to demolish and dispose of the former pier and build its replacement. The project has remained on budget, Town Manager Bill Shane said May 30.
Cumberland residents are allowed to park in the five spaces nearest the beach if they buy a $1 pass at Town Hall, 290 Tuttle Road. Since they have no expiration date, passes purchased last year remain valid.
If those parking spaces are filled, visitors, including those from other towns, must park in a lot at the top of Beach Drive. On-street parking is not allowed, unless it is in a designated area.
Drop-off areas, with two handicap parking spaces, are near the beach and pier.
Weather depending, park rangers will be at the site each day through mid-August from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and will transport people from the parking lot to the beach on the hour, and from the beach down to the lot on each half hour. The reserve is open from sunrise to sunset.
More information is available at cumberlandmaine.com/broad-cove-reserve.
The Town Council in February 2018 had approved a license agreement for the pier, although the other party in the project – 179 Foreside Road LLC, representing the 10-member homeowners association at 179 Foreside Road – is still negotiating with the town on the deal.
If it chooses, the group has until March 2020 to secure its own moorings and mooring fields, separate from those used by the public.
Discussions are “heading in a positive and collaborative direction,” Shane said May 31.
The combined town and 179 Foreside Road parcels previously comprised the approximately 100-acre Payson property.
The town’s piece, which it purchased in 2014 from Portland developer Bateman Partners to provide beach access and other uses by the public, includes 2,200 feet of shoreline, and the former 200-foot pier. Bateman developed the homes that neighbor the public parcel, and the town in December 2015 signed a memorandum of understanding with 179 Foreside Road for the replacement pier.
The pier’s cost is covered by $200,000 from the state’s Small Harbor Improvements Program and $150,000 from 179 Foreside Road. Another $202,000 comes from the town’s Broad Cove Reserve fund and open land acquisition reserves. A remaining $30,000 contingency comes from land acquisition reserves.
Bateman paid the town the share owed by 179 Foreside Road, which the company was obligated to do regardless of whether the homeowners approved the agreement, Shane has said.
While the former pier had steps leading up from the shore, its replacement has a ramp to improve accessibility. The new structure extends out about 170 feet, connecting to an 80-foot ramp leading down to the floats. It is 6 feet wide – 2 feet wider than the old structure.
The original pier was built for personal use. Former Coastal Waters Commission Chairman Lew Incze in 2015 estimated the structure could last another five years, barring no major storms or icing.
But a storm in October 2017 forced the town to close the pier due to concerns about its structural deck support system. Officials considered temporary repairs at the time, but another major storm in January 2018 moved the pier enough to require permanent closure.
The new pier at Cumberland’s Broad Cove Preserve extends about 170 feet, connecting to an 80-foot ramp that leads down to the floats.
Railing will soon be added to this new walkway at Cumberland’s Broad Cove Reserve, which leads to the beach and new pier.