On July 20, 2015, the Waterville Rotary Club announced that it would celebrate its Centennial Anniversary with a Grant of $150,000 for the Riverwalk at Head of Falls initiative. This gift, awarded through a competitive RFP process, will assist in dramatic improvements to this underutilized public space, as well as confirm the Club’s unwavering commitment to the Waterville area. The RiverWalk project was the result of a collaboration between the City of Waterville and the Kennebec-Messalonskee Trails organization and is designed to encourage greater public use of the waterfront area known as Head of Falls for recreation and other community purposes.
The City formed a RiverWalk Advisory Committee in January, 2016. The Committee soon requested proposals for engineering and landscape design services. Five (5) proposals were received and scored by the Committee. Three (3) firms were chosen for interviews. After completing the interviews, the Committee was unanimous in recommending Mitchell and Associates to the City Council for Phase I of this project. On March 15, the City Council approved a contract with Mitchell and Associates for design and consulting services for the construction of the boardwalk (RiverWalk) at the Head of Falls.
The next steps will be to complete the design of the boardwalk and begin a fundraising campaign. It is anticipated that Requests for Bids for construction will go out in 2017 with construction starting later that year. Construction should be completed in 2018, at which time a dedication ceremony will take place.
Current views of the riverbank at the Two Cent Plaza, Head of Falls:
The proposed Kennebec Riverwalk is a project whose time has come. All the basic necessities for its success are already in place, including land ownership, water, sewer, electricity and parking spaces. It will be located close to Waterville’s iconic and historic 2-Cent Bridge. Initial projects, including the 2-Cent Plaza have been completed and are popular. Several future developments that would add to its value over time are present or are being discussed. This project will bring the Water back to Waterville, will add another dimension to the flowering of the downtown by Waterville Main Street, the Opera House, the Maine Film Festival, and the site will attain its rightful place as Head of Trails for the extensive riverside trail network being developed by Kennebec Messalonskee Trails.
We anticipate frequent use of the Riverwalk by the public on a daily basis during spring, summer and fall seasons, and as the venue for large public events including festivals of various kinds.
Conceptual Drawings of the proposed RiverWalk, Head of Falls: