Cumberland plans to open new Broad Cove pier next May

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CUMBERLAND — A new pier is due to open at Broad Cove Reserve next May.

The Town Council on Monday unanimously accepted a $552,000 bid from Prock Marine Co. of Rockland to demolish and dispose of the existing pier this September, and build a new structure – with a gangway, floats, and float moorings – in its place.

Prock presented the lowest of five bids.

The council in February approved a license agreement for the Casco Bay pier, although the other party in the project – 179 Foreside Road LLC, representing the 10-member homeowners association at 179 Foreside Road – has yet to sign off on the deal. Town Manager Bill Shane said Monday that he and the association are continuing to discuss the agreement.

The group has until the March after the new pier’s completion to do so, if it wants to secure its own moorings and mooring fields, separate from those used by the public.

The town and 179 Foreside Road parcels together once comprised the approximately 100-acre Payson property.

The town’s piece, which it bought 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 existing 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 a replacement pier.

The pier’s cost is covered by $200,000 contributed by the state’s Small Harbor Improvements Program, and $150,000 from 179 Foreside Road. Of the remaining $232,000, $202,000 comes from the town’s Broad Cove Reserve fund and open land acquisition reserves, and the remaining $30,000 contingency comes from land acquisition reserves.

Bateman paid the town the share owed by 179 Foreside Road, Shane said, which the company was due to do regardless of whether the homeowners approved the agreement.

While the current pier has steps leading up from the shore, its replacement will have a ramp to improve accessibility. The new structure is to extend out about 170 feet, connecting to an 80-foot ramp leading down to the floats. It will be 6 feet wide, or 2 feet wider than the current structure.

The existing pier was built for personal use, with a limited remaining life. 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 because of concerns about its structural deck support system. Officials eyed temporary repairs at the time, but another major storm in January moved the pier enough to require a permanent closure.

The state funds were not scheduled to be available until Jan. 1, 2020, but after the town submitted a structural evaluation of the existing pier, the Maine Department of Transportation realized the urgency of the situation and moved the project up two years, according to Shane.

The existing pier is to be demolished in September. Its replacement will be constructed in Rockland by February 2019, and then floated down to Cumberland in March or April, with a May 2019 opening, Shane said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

An aging pier at Broad Cove Reserve in Cumberland, shown in this 2015 photo, is due to be demolished in September, with its replacement floated in from Rockland next spring.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.