High water halts wharf project in Greenville

Posted May 07, 2009, at 7:35 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:14 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — Higher water than anticipated has prompted a temporary halt to the Greenville Junction Wharf rehabilitation project on the shore of Moosehead Lake.

Town Manager John Simko told selectmen Wednesday the town had intended to start the fully funded $725,000 project last fall but couldn’t because of the high level of water then.

When work began this spring to install the steel pilings at the outer end of the wharf, it was expected the lake level would be low enough to finish the job by Memorial Day, according to Simko.

That hasn’t been the case. Since ice-out, the lake has risen about 4 feet faster than anticipated, he said. That has necessitated a halt to the project — which includes installation of riprap in some areas of the wharf and a precast retaining wall on the Wiggins Stream side — until the lake level lowers in the fall.

“What we do know is we have to cease work; the water is not going to drop between now and fall,” Simko said.

Outside of the Project Canopy grant, the delay will not jeopardize the grants received for the project, according to Simko. Dr. Ken Woodbury of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, who wrote the Project Canopy application, has requested an extension on those funds, Simko said.

The new boat ramp at the wharf, the Department of Conservation’s project, has been installed, according to Simko. Both the new boat ramp and the boat ramp on the northern side of the wharf will be available for use by or before Memorial Day, he said. The new floating docks, under construction by Charleston Correctional Fa-cility inmates, will not be ready until mid-July.

Another problem encountered during the project was the lack of fill found between the wooden cribwork — peeled logs that lie crisscrossed below the water table — that holds up the outer edge of the wharf, Simko said. The steel pilings must be secured to the cribwork, so some kind of fill must be installed to ensure the logs will not move, according to Simko. That unforeseen expense was not budgeted.

Haley Construction Co. has some broken concrete it would donate for fill if the project engineer agrees the material would be suitable for the project, Simko noted. If not, this work would cost about $75,540, he estimated. He said the entire project is being reviewed to make changes to accommodate that extra cost, if necessary.

Simko also noted he had submitted an application to the Plum Creek Foundation for $10,000 to pay for an underground conduit, a flagpole and lighting for a kiosk at the wharf.

Since a portion of the wharf will be fenced off pending the resumption of the project and for safety reasons, the town’s Fourth of July celebration will be relocated, possibly to the East Cove area.

dianabdn@myfairpoint.net

876-4579

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