Harpswell contract initiates demise of Mitchell Field pier

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HARPSWELL — Demolition of the Mitchell Field pier was scheduled to begin Thursday, Dec. 7, with a ceremonial “pierbreaking.”

The long-awaited action was made possible after the Board of Selectmen awarded Woolwich-based Reed & Reed the demolition contract at its Nov. 30 meeting.

In addition to Reed & Reed, Prock Marine Co. and Wyman & Simpson submitted bids to the town. However, neither company submitted a bid for the entire project. Prock Marine’s bid only included taking the debris away by barge after the pier is demolished, and Wyman & Simpson provided a bid only for work on land.

Town engineer Barney Baker of Baker Design Consultants said Reed & Reed’s proposal was the least expensive for work done on shore at Mitchell Field, and its bid included removing material from the site by barge following the demolition. 

The contract of a little less than $3.2 million is for work to be completed through May 2019, but Baker said the company is “happy to start mobilizing” on the project this month, and hopes to begin serious work sometime in January.

Baker said the construction cost allows for the work to be done through next summer, and according to the schedule submitted by the firm, the contractor will finish the marine work by next spring. The second half of the project, including processing the material and cutting concrete into pieces to be hauled away, will continue into fall 2018, with the schedule projecting it to end in September.

Two other matters related to Mitchell Field were also decided last week.

The first was an amendment to the contract with Baker Design Consultants for construction administration at Mitchell Field, inspection and monitoring the contractor’s progress. It authorizes the engineering firm to utilize the remaining half of the funds in its original proposal to the town, which totaled about $155,000. The amendment was passed unanimously.

The Board of Selectmen also unanimously passed a motion to issue bonds for the demolition project. Treasurer Marguerite Kelly said the amount will not exceed $5 million.

Before moving on to other business, Chairman Rick Daniel thanked Baker, Planner Mark Eyerman and the Mitchell Field Committee for their work. Selectman David Chipman echoed that sentiment.

“It seems easy to raise and spend $5 million, but there’s been an awful lot of work behind this,” Chipman said.

Other Business

State Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Brunswick, and Reps. Jay McCreight, D-Harpswell, and Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, also attended the meeting to discuss Central Maine Power’s response to the windstorm in late October.

Each of the lawmakers expressed concern about reports of CMP’s website displaying incorrect information about when power would be restored. Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said she and Fire Administrator Art Howe contacted CMP several times a day and were told nothing could be immediately done about the inaccurate information.

Berry said he and other officials are still in the process of gathering information about the power company’s actions.

“I am very concerned about both the readiness and response from CMP; there are some really important lessons that I hope the entire state can draw from this,” Berry said. “We’re still understanding the good, the bad and the ugly of the response.”

Selectmen also approved $15,900 previously allocated for the Orr’s Bailey Island Fire Department that will be used by the department to rebuild its septic system. 

Elizabeth Clemente can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or eclemente@theforecaster.net. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @epclemente.

The pier at Mitchell Field in Harpswell will be demolished by Reed & Reed. The work is expected to be complete next fall.