BANGOR, Maine — City leaders want to attract more people to the area via the Penobscot River and are planning to apply for a federal permit to add 14 new boat docks along the waterfront.
“The floats will provide space for 28 boats,” John Theriault, Bangor city engineer, said in a Wednesday email. “I anticipate that the floats will be about 25 [feet] long and somewhere in the range of 6 to 10 feet wide. However, this project is still in the very early stages of design.”
Sea Dog Brewing Co. manager Bert Follero said people enjoy the docks that are currently available just outside his restaurant’s back door and thinks more would attract even more boaters.
“I hear it all the time, ‘I wish there were more docks to dock to,’” Follero said.
The demand for slip space rises when the weather warms and Waterfront Concerts begin, he said.
“There were four or five people who had boats and were able to go the concert last night,” the Sea Dog manager said. “I noticed last night that the docks were full. They’re also full on weekends.”
The required U.S. Army Corps of Engineers application to modify the designated federal navigational channel to allow for the boat docks to be installed on the Bangor side of the river should be filed in the next couple of weeks, Theriault said.
The application asks the Army Corps to designate a portion of the Penobscot River as a federal anchorage, he said.
“This portion includes the section of the river beginning approximately 1,200 feet south of the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge and will extend northerly to the Kenduskeag Stream,” Theriault said in the email.
The city engineer and Tracy Willette, Bangor’s director of parks and recreation, went before the Brewer City Council on Tuesday to explain Bangor’s plans because the Brewer panel was considering an order in support of the project, which they unanimously approved.
“There is a lot of space out there. There is 250 feet,” Theriault told the Brewer councilors.
Brewer Mayor Bev Uhlenhake described the proposed change as a minor modification to the current boat travel channel, which is “expected to attract new revenues” to the area.
Bangor and Brewer share the harbor.
The project is designed to increase docking space, especially during Waterfront events, as well as the possibility of increased seasonal rental space, Willette said in a Thursday email.
“Our seasonal dock space and short-term docks have waiting lists,” he said. “I can’t recall an exact number of years this has been discussed. This concept has been talked about for some time. Our plan would be to treat the docking space like we do our other docks, in that they would be available to rent for the general public as space was available.”
Dock reservations for Bangor Landing were put online in 2012 as a way for pleasure craft and coastal cruise vessels to reserve rental space ahead of time for things such as Waterfront Concerts and other events, Willette said at the time. Boaters just need to visit Bangor’s website to fill out a harbor reservation.
“Bangor Landing offers two public docks,” the city’s website states. “Water and power are available, as are pump-out services. Our docks can handle private vessels of virtually all sizes, although larger vessels should contact us in advance of arrival.”
The Bangor-Brewer harbor is open throughout the freshwater boating season.
“We have people, especially during concerts, that step right off the dock and come in and eat,” Follero said of his Sea Dog customers. “It just increases our business. I’m sure if they had more slips there would be more people on the water taking advantage.”