Rockport sewer project moves forward
Rockport — Sewer line work continues on Commercial Street (Route 1) in Rockport, but there is an end in sight, according to Town Manager Richard Bates.
Bates said Aug. 11 during a select board meeting the project had slowed but was still moving forward and the majority of the disruption to traffic and businesses along that section of Commercial Street is nearly over.
“We are very close to the end, “ he said.
Paving has begun and that will take a little time to complete after all of the sewer line has been put installed, according to Bates.
The expected $1.1 million project from Elwood Avenue to Light Lane had several hurdles to clear, including some that could have put the project off for the foreseeable future, Bates noted.
“After a bunch of fits and starts the sewer extension project is finally under way,” Bates said in June. “There was a bit of red tape that we had to get through and I'm happy to say that while working with CDBG and the state to help navigate through it, we found an acceptable solution.”
The solution, according to Bates, was that the town would begin the project with the town funds they already have available and when the public comment period for the bond is over, continue the project with state Community Development Block Grant funds.
Back in March, he told the select board that because of a request by Maine Department of Environmental Protection to research and answer a number of questions, the possibility of falling out of the spring construction cycle was a very “real” possibility.
A question about the environmental impact on a 1,800-foot section of the project were a waste of time because construction is occurring under an existing right-of-way, he said.
In the 1980s the town was faced with serious environmental issues because many homes and businesses discharged raw sewage into both the harbor and Clam Cove. Mandated by the state, the town constructed a sewer system in two parts, one to service the village and the other to service people living in Glen Cove.
Without a treatment plant of its own, agreements were made with Camden and Rockland to send the waste water to their treatment plants, with the two sections going to the town closest in proximity.
In 1988 and 1989, expansion of the original system took place to include some properties on Commercial Street (Route 1) and West Street (Route 90), which now serves both Camden Hills Regional High School and Camden-Rockport Elementary School, and opened that corridor for commercial expansion.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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