The frozen canal along Oxford Street, shown Friday afternoon in Lewiston, is an integral part of the Riverfront Island Master Plan. It will be discussed Tuesday during a workshop with the City Council and the Planning Board. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — The City Council and Planning Board will meet for a joint workshop Tuesday as the city inches closer to finalizing its updated redevelopment plan for the area along the Androscoggin River.

The city’s consultant, Halvorson Tighe & Bond, will present the latest draft proposal to the Riverfront Island Master Plan, which includes feedback gathered at a public forum held at the Lewiston Public Library last month and comments submitted through the city’s project website.

It’s been 10 years since the city originally created the Riverfront Island Master Plan as a guide for long-term redevelopment efforts. While a number of projects have been completed since 2012, much has changed since then and it became clear that an update was needed, Deputy Director of Planning and Special Projects Shelley Norton said in a memo.

“As with any good plan, it became apparent to staff and administration that an update to the plan to take a deeper dive into a few particular areas would be helpful,” Norton said.

“In addition, the city acquisition of the canals in 2018 has provided both an enormous opportunity and public asset while also being a unique design and safety challenge with ongoing maintenance concerns,” she said.

The city hired Halvorson, a Boston-based engineering firm, last summer to help lead efforts to update the master plan.


The master plan update is broken into five parts: Riverwalk and downtown connections, Island Point redevelopment, urban infill and redevelopment, Simard-Payne Memorial Park revitalization and canal revitalization.

The canal and Bates Mill No. 5, shown Friday afternoon, are an integral part of Lewiston’s Riverfront Island Master Plan. It will be discussed Tuesday during a workshop with the City Council and the Planning Board. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Much of the plan is focused on improving bicycle and pedestrian connections between riverfront areas, building residential and retail spaces and increasing community spaces, including parks and along the canals, where people can gather to play, eat, shop and more.

Rob Adams, a landscape architect for the firm, said at the Jan. 12 forum that the designs are meant to be “aspirational” and that the latest phase was a “laboratory.”

David Hediger, director of Planning and Code Enforcement, said in January that while the master plan will serve as a long-term guide, it will also include projects that can be completed within 12 to 18 months of its implementation.

Tuesday’s workshop will be an opportunity for the council and Planning Board to provide their final comments and suggestions before Halvorson completes the final proposal. In her memo, Norton asked the boards to identify which projects should be a priority for the city so that staff can begin preparing next steps in anticipation of final approval.

Once it is completed, Halvorson will submit the final proposal to the Planning Board for its review and recommendation for the council. It will then go to the council for final approval.

The joint workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chamber at Lewiston City Hall. It will also be livestreamed on the Lewiston’s YouTube channel and broadcast live at Spectrum Cable TV Government Access Channel 7.

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