GARDINER — The three-ton base made from old cast-iron paper machine drive gears is centered on Waterfront Park’s Floodtide Terrace.

Now the hard part: transporting the 16-foot fabricated stainless steel form from Robert Lash’s studio on High Holborn Street to the park without harming it.

A year ago, the Savings Bank of Maine commissioned Lash, a metal sculptor, to create a 20-foot sculpture for the waterfront park project. Lash declined to say how much the bank paid for the sculpture, except that he did it for less than he would normally charge because he wanted to do something for the community.

Lash said the sculpture, “Rising,” will be installed by the first week of November.

He said that, like his other sculptures, “Rising” is not a literal piece. Its form echoes natural shapes found along the Kennebec River.

“It’s going to be very exciting, but I’ll be quite relieved when it’s transported down there,” Lash said. “It’s a very tall vertical piece that is a curved shape and at an angle. We’re going to have to get the form from my studio and lay it on a flatbed truck.”

Lash is still doing some finish work on the tiered piece at his studio, to remove any excess welding material and repolish around each weld.

City Manager Scott Morelli said, “Gardiner residents should feel proud that our new waterfront will be showcasing the work of a talented local artist. It will be the frosting on the cake for this project.”

Lash said he bought the enormous gears that were incorporated into the base of “Rising” from the former Augusta Tissue mill when it was being demolished. The gears range in weight from a half-ton to a ton.

The base is an 8-foot-diameter drive gear that weighs 4,000 pounds. On top of that, Lash placed a 5-foot diameter, 4-foot-tall cylinder he made from weathering steel.

“That actually sits vertically and looks like a shaft connected to the bottom gear,” he said. “Then, on top of that, I’ve got a 6-foot-diameter drive gear also salvaged from the tissue mill. It represents the working industrial waterfront, and that’s kind of a historical tie to the river.”

Lash purchased more than 2,800 pounds of stainless steel at the start of the project. All nine individual forms that make up the sculpture have been plasma cut, glued, welded, ground and polished, he said.

Gates, Leighton & Associates of Brunswick, the waterfront project’s landscape architectural firm, designed the flood tide terrace where Lash’s sculpture is being installed.

Gardiner Mayor Andrew MacLean said he is glad to see the work of a Gardiner sculptor represented in the project.

“It’s going to be a striking vertical structure that will really draw the eye,” MacLean said. “As I understand it, the concept was going to create a vision of Gardiner’s mill town history. And it was designed to withstand flooding. It will be something that we can measure what happens in the years the river expands beyond its banks.”

Lash updates the project at risingsculptureproject.blogspot.com/.