City receives six-figure donation for Harbor Trail bridge
Rockland — The city received a donation of $102,000 from an anonymous donor to build a bridge over Lindsey Brook as part of the Harbor Trail, acting City Manager Audra Caler-Bell reported this week.
"This is single largest donation the city has ever received," she said.
City officials said in April they see an opportunity to complete the Harbor Trail as a project that will serve the local community, help beautify the city along the waterfront and serve as a place to showcase public art pieces in the art capital of Maine.
However, the city needed help to push the next phase of Harbor Trail construction into reality. For 25 years, this vision has been delayed because of other priorities.
At the time officials reported a goal of raising $65,000 for the trail.
The plan also called for the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Lindsey Brook connecting with the parking area behind Main Street next to the wastewater treatment plant. In the spring, city officials said it was expected to cost between $50,000 and $70,000.
The bridge is being constructed by Prock Marine.
"We’re hoping it will be ready for installation by November," Caler-Bell said.
Mayor Louise MacLellan-Ruf reported that another anonymous donation is helping replace metal signs and fixtures at Sandy Beach in the South End with granite posts.
The city also plans to cut the cost of the project drastically by having the city's Public Services Department employees train to do the trail work in-house rather than hiring out contractors to do it.
The project is a big one and the $65,000 will only go toward part of it, including landscaping, benches and picnic tables, public art, trail easements and public restrooms.
Eventually, the plan is that the trail will continue uninterrupted from the entrance to the Rockland Breakwater in the north all the way along the downtown, over Lindsey Brook and to Snow Marine Park on Mechanic Street in the South End.
The Harbor Trail Committee is working with members of Arts In Rockland to make possible public art along the trail.
Another creative opportunity will be the benches along the trail. MacLellan-Ruf said the committee is considering incorporating creative benches, similar to creative street projects done in Belfast. The benches would be funded by individuals or local organizations. In some cases they might be memorials in honor of a specific individual. In other cases, they may be creative artworks.