The Biddeford RiverWalk Coalition was formed in 2008 to help build public and political support for the RiverWalk along the Saco River between Mechanics Park and the Diamond Match Property.
It has broadened its efforts now to include connections with the Saco RiverWalk. The Coalition partners with and advise city staff on related issues.
Over the past six years, a number of public meetings, articles and other communications have highlighted the vision and promoted the economic, historic, cultural and environmental value of connecting residents and visitors to the Saco River from Downtown, and from Downtown to the river.
We look forward to seeing you in the months and years ahead as this good project comes to life!
From the Director
What's Going on With the Biddeford RiverWalk Project, Anyway?
For those of you who have followed the Biddeford RiverWalk project with growing excitement, it may seem as if there is a flurry of activity and then... silence. While this is to be expected, due to seasonal limitations (such as snow and ice, yes-even this winter), pauses to obtain additional funding or permits, and various other unforeseen circumstances, periodic updates are in order.
Over the past few months, a number of pieces have fallen into place:
Biddeford-Saco Pedestrian Bridge
We are pleased to report that the pedestrian bridge linking the Pepperell Mill campus (North Dam) and Saco Island Mills (Mattson mills), the Amtrak station and other sites, and funded by the Maine Department of Transportation's Quality Communities Programs, is under construction.
The old Steampipe bridge has been removed and preparations are underway to prepare the abutments for a fall delivery and installation of the new bridge. Scott Construction of Falmouth, Maine is the general contractor for the Pedestrian Bridge project.
Biddeford RiverWalk Phase 2
We are also pleased to announce that Phase 2 of the RiverWalk, connecting Phase 1 with the Pedestrian Bridge, will be under construction shortly! The construction award has been given to Dearborn Brothers Construction out of Buxton, Maine. This fall everything should be complete and open to the public!
As you no doubt know, the removal of the MERC buildings opens up numerous exciting possibilities, including the potential for a section of park and trail along the river. The City has contracted with Camoine Associates, with an office in Scarborough, ME, to conduct a Market Feasibility Study for redevelopment of the site.
Former Florida Powe & Light Property
The former Florida Power and Light land between the Mill at Saco Falls and North Dam Mill, was acquired by the City and awarded cleanup funding by the EPA in 2013.
Mechanics Park Boat Launch
Design for a new boat launch in Mechanics Park was completed recently; we'll explore funding opportunities for this project over the coming years.
Expansion of Mechanics Park
The City recently submitted an application to the Land for Maine's Future Program (LMF) to enhance Mechanics Park and create a RiverWalk trailhead. We will hear sometime this summer and will let you know about that as well.
Diamond Match Park
The Diamond Match Park project is progressing nicely. Thanks to the continued funding and support of the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) Program, the City is in the process of dismantling the abandoned trestle in preparation for future park development work.
Seven Minute Workout Station
A new Seven-Minute Workout Station has been built in Mechanics Park. It is open to anyone looking to get a round of exercise in a short period of time. Thanks for bringing this good idea forward, David Flood!
Lots of pieces are starting to take shape. As always, we are grateful to our partners for your steadfast participation and enthusiasm for this project:
- Biddeford Open Space Committee
- City of Biddeford
- City of Saco
- Heart of Biddeford
- The mill owners
- RiverWalk Coalition
Biddeford RiverWalk Project Director
How to Get Involved
For more information on how you can get involved, email Alix Hopkins, Biddeford RiverWalk Coalition Project Director.
Submit your photos, and we will post them on the BRWC’s Facebook page,Biddeford RiverWalk Facebook.