SOUTH PORTLAND – Visitors to trails in South Portland may be wondering about recent activity on the city’s Greenbelt Pathway. A section of the trail has been closed off for a couple weeks due to construction. From April 1-12 the city is working in the area between Buttonwood and Mildred Streets. This is the first step in the Pleasantdale Separation project, which the city began last year.

Patrick Cloutier, director of Water Resource Protection, said this part of the project is intended to upgrade the culvert that runs under the trail and connects to the Mildred Street pond.

“The culvert will be larger than the existing to allow tidal influence into the pond area, as part of the remediation effort to address the stagnation and odor issues in the pond,” Cloutier sai..

The Mildred Street pond holds stagnant water, which means it does not generally flow. Because of this, odors tend to accumulate around the pond. The new culvert is intended to alleviate this buildup of water.

In addition, the team will also install a “baffle box” upstream. This is a stormwater treatment system that will be used to capture sediment, debris and trash.

Justin Gove, a civil engineer from Water Resource Protection, believes the project will solve more than one problem: it will improve water flow and prevent stagnation, and it will be ecologically beneficial to the area.


“The increased tidal flushing is expected to mitigate current stagnation and odor issues and promote the formation of tidal habitat,” Gove said. “The overarching goals of the work are to enhance aesthetics, improve ecological value, provide stormwater treatment, and to address the public’s concerns about odors.”

The project is a combined effort between the city of South Portland and the Woodard & Curran. After conducting a study and working with the community, it was decided that the upgraded culvert and a new baffle box would be the most effective solutions.

Because construction is taking only a few weeks, that means it will not be long before people can use all 5.6 miles of the Greenbelt Pathway again.

“The Pleasantdale project is going to continue into the beginning of this year, and the culvert replacement is the first step in getting to completing the overall separation project by June 30,” Cloutier said.

The team is paying close attention to deadlines and will warn residents ahead of time.

For more information, contact the Water Resource Protection Department at 767-7675.

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