HARPSWELL — The Mitchell Field pier removal project is close to completion, ahead of schedule and under budget.

Harpswell selectmen voted unanimously Oct. 18 to close out the contract with Reed & Reed for the demolition and removal at Mitchell Field through a Certificate of Substantial Completion.

Town officials were scheduled to conduct a Mitchell Field Waterfront Planning Workshop meeting on Oct. 22 to discuss future uses for the waterfront.

Though the pier removal project was the town’s most expensive to date at just under $2.8 million, selectmen voted unanimously last week on a change order that essentially reduced the amount to be paid to Reed & Reed, as less work was needed and less expensive materials were used, saving the town $310,154 on the original estimate of $3,178,453.

Last week’s change order is in addition to previous changes that were approved and reduced the contract by $62,476, ultimately saving the town $372,630 on the total cost of the project.

“I think the project went smoothly and Reed and Reed have what I would call happy feelings about the project,” Town Planner Mark Eyerman said.

The selectmen voted unanimously to zero out the contract with Reed & Reed once minor work around the project site is done, which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

Eyerman and other town officials, including Town Administrator Kristi Eiane, took a walk through the project site last week. They all agreed there is not much left to be completed other than tying up what Eyerman called a few “loose ends.”

“Essentially the project is at this point complete except for hopefully watching the grass grow and removing the little bit of remaining erosion control and fence,” Eyerman added.

A construction fence will remain in place “until the end of the month” Eyerman said, to allow for grass to take hold and to prevent foot or vehicle traffic from impacting the unstable and moist areas, especially on the end of the causeway.

Once the fence is down, the project is officially finalized, which is several months ahead of schedule, given the contract’s original deadline of May 2019.

For safety purposes, ground flags and stakes will also mark the area until the site is stable enough for foot or vehicle traffic.

Two separate requisitions were also approved by selectmen last week, including a requisition of $1,131 for cracked sealing repairs and another to pay Reed & Reed a final payment of about $163,000 for full completion of the project.

“It looks awesome,” Chairman Rick Daniel said. “Barney Baker and Baker Design Consultants early on just helped to build a competitive bidding process that I think really paid off in the end.”

Patti McDonald can be reached at 740-8335 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @veggiepattiruns.

Town Planner Mark Eyerman discusses the final steps to be taken in demolishing the Mitchell Field Pier to Harpswell selectmen during the board’s meeting Oct. 18.