LCRPC recognizes Boothbay Harbor for footbridge

Tue, 04/23/2024 - 1:30pm

    At its annual meeting April 16 in Bristol, Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) awarded Boothbay Harbor for restoring the historic downtown footbridge. LCRPC gave the town a certificate of recognition under the commission’s 2024 Recognition of Community Planning Initiatives and Leaders. 

    “Boothbay Harbor was recognized for their historic preservation efforts in restoring the iconic Boothbay Harbor footbridge, making it more accessible to residents and visitors, resilient to a changing climate, and increasing waterfront access opportunities,” said LCRPC Executive Director Emily Rabbe.

    Since 2022, LCRPC has recognized projects and community leaders at the meeting who have advanced planning initiatives in their towns over the past year. Selectman Ken Rayle and planning board member Lee Corbin said they were surprised as they went up to accept the award. Rayle gave special thanks to Town Manager Julia Latter and Selectboard Chair Michael Tomko, also the LCRPC board chair, for their long-term efforts supporting the project, which was completed in September.

    In light of increasing impacts from storm events that caused damage across Lincoln County, this year’s meeting’s theme was community resilience. The footbridge project fit the theme with several updates to the historic structure, including strengthening its construction and increasing its elevation to account for rising sea levels and harsh weather conditions, such as ice.  

    “LCRPC commends the Town for their historic preservation efforts to restore the footbridge for generations to come,” the award announcement read. “If any of you have visited the new footbridge, you can attest to how well the new construction retains the footbridge's historic charm while being resilient to storms, including the pair of storms in January, with minimal damage caused to the structure!” 

    The project also included improvements such as Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant access, increased dockage and an A-frame structure that heralds back to the original swing bridge. Rayle said the most popular features are the bump out viewing areas where visitors can sit and watch the harbor at their leisure without being in traffic.  

    “It's a great reason for anyone to come and visit Boothbay Harbor this year because it's a new footbridge and we appreciate their visit,” he said. “They should come to Boothbay Harbor and visit and see the iconic footbridge. And, you know, we're happy to have them.”