A floating dock system will be installed at the boat launch off Lincoln Street in Westbrook to address the steep slope at the bottom. Chance Viles / American Journal

A floating cradle-shaped dock will be added to the boat launch off Lincoln Street in Westbrook to solve the problematic steep slope into the Presumpscot River caused by erosion and changing water levels.

“That change should address any remaining concerns about the steepness,” City Project Manager Robyn Saunders said.

The dock has already been purchased. The city hopes to install it when it arrives sometime next week, Saunders said.

Working like a slide with gangplanks on the sides for stability, the dock was the best solution to the drop-off problem, she said.

“We had to stay out of the water because of Army Corps regulations if you change the profile of the water, which is why we couldn’t change that (dropoff),” she said.

The project to rehab the boat launch got its start last summer when goats were brought in to remove invasive plants. Roughly $27,000 from a Cumberland County grant and a donation of $5,500 from Sappi North America went toward the dock project.


The additional money brings the total project funding to just over $264,000, including a number of county Community Development Block Grants, $80,000 of proceeds from the sale of city land and $20,000 from the Westbrook Recreation & Conservation Commission.

The project includes the ramp and floating docking system, drainage and erosion control and removal of invasive species and general overgrowth.

More invasive species removal is slated for sometime this summer, which will mark the end of the boat launch rehab.

“All that’s left is some landscaping,” Saunders said. “Some landscaping has been installed around the parking area but we are waiting for it to be watered and mulched. Also, we have some landscaping in the shoreland zone along the riverbank. We are trying to get rid of the invasive species.”

Removal of invasive species is good for the environment as well as safety.

“We are opening it up so we can see down to the river a little more clearer for enhanced security,” Saunders said.

The project was done in conjunction with improvements to the adjacent outdoor rink, now the Cornelia Warren Four Season Rink, which opened last June at 58 Lincoln St.

After the dock is installed at the bottom of the ramp, above, some landscaping will be done before the project is wrapped up. Chance Viles / American Journal

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