An aerial shot of Stone Pier and Stone Wharf on Chebeague Island. The town has hired engineering firm Wright-Pierce to look into possible safety and traffic improvements on the pier. They’ll present their findings later this summer. Contributed / Wright-Pierce

A two-lane access loop for vehicles and a walkway for pedestrians are among the safety measures being considered for Stone Pier on Chebeague Island.

The town is using a $47,000 grant from the Maine Department of Marine Resources to map out the traffic and safety improvements, including preliminary design and permitting, according to Town Administrator Vika Wood. The cost to fully renovate the pier to make it accessible and safer will likely be in the millions, she said.

“What we’re trying to determine is what it needs and what the timeframe of that is,” Wood said. “This spring we had a public involvement process with four discussions where the public could offer their input on the safety, accessibility, boating access, fishing operations and traffic flow.”

A loop for vehicles would not block the barge ramp.

How to improve parking at the pier was discussed May 12, when Colin Greenan of the Maine Army Corps of Engineers spoke about the Corps’ evaluation process to grant permits. Greenan said it’s more likely that enlarging the wharf slightly for safety and access would be approved than space for additional parking.

Engineering consulting firm Wright-Pierce is compiling residents’ input and assessing the current state of the pier ahead of conceptual ideas to present to the town in July or August. The town will then decide how to move forward and begin applying for more funding.

“This has been a discussion for many years,” Wood said. “I don’t think we’ve grown much in terms of the number of people here, but definitely in the level of use that Stone Pier has seen over the years. It’s the primary place where our transportation company comes in, it’s where the majority of people tie up their boats, fishermen use it to load and unload their gear. It’s definitely in need of improvement.”

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