CAMDEN – The town-owned portion of Camden Harbor is getting a facelift with new decking after the December 23 storm caused significant damage to the aging boardwalk.
“It was the high tide, storm surge, wind, and the right kind of swells,” said Camden Harbor Master Steve Pixley. “It basically took a 35-year-old wharf, that I was hoping I could milk for another three-four years and just wrecked it.”
Pixley said in addition the storm moved six of the granite blocks that provided a foundation for the wharf.
“I think the pinning got so rusted they were able to move, so I had to have two of them drilled and repined,” he said.
Pixley said with the help of the Public Works they had the old wharf torn out in one day.
“We’re going to pour about 11-inches of concrete with rebar, and then Public Works will build a deck on top of it, so the new deck will be about six inches higher than the old one,” he said.
Pixley said the new decking will be the exact same width as the old one.
“However, there’s a six-to eight-year plan,” he said. “In eight years, we’ll be at a point, and I wish we could do it now, but we can’t. At that point we’ll come up three feet on the granite wall. Drill and pin it, then fill the space with aggregate, and put the walkway on top of that. That will bring us into the next 25-30-years of sea rise.”
Pixley said it will take about five weeks for all the work to be completed.
“I think by May 15 we’ll be wrapping it up here,” said Pixley. “Anything that’s wood will be ripped up all the way around the harbor. Concrete will be poured and new decking six inches higher installed. It will cause some inconvenience with the lobstermen and the elver fishermen along that part of the walkway, but I’m willing to work with them. We’ll try not to impact them anymore then we must.”
Pixley looks hopefully toward the 2023 summer season.
“In my opinion we’re on par with what we see for this time of year,” he said. “I think we are going to get a nice comfortable crowd early this spring. I think we’re going to see a nice June and we’re not used to seeing that, but after the pandemic everything changed. I think it will be good.”