A boat launch project is underway in Rumford and will be completed before the end of the month. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Construction of a new town boat launch is underway, just beyond the McDonald’s on Route 2.

Town Manager Stacy Carter said that because of the installation of a new ramp and expanded parking, the boat launch is closed to all vehicles and trailered boats until the project is finished, as the size of the construction site restricts the maneuvering space and safe passage for all vehicles and trailers.

Canoes and kayaks can be launched at Hastings Landing located on Route 2 in Rumford Center.

The project involves installation of a new 20-foot precast concrete plank launch ramp, concrete abutment with laydown planks, and parking lot construction, as well as miscellaneous items.

The contractor is Bedard Excavation of West Paris, whose approved bid was $187,000. They began work around Sept. 7.

Carter said part of the work involved putting in a coffer dam, which restricts some of the water so they can work and put in the amount of rock and material to support the cement pads and ramp.


“They coordinated with Brookfield Power to lower the river. Every fall, Brookfield does inspection and maintenance of their dam. So they’re doing it at the same time,” he said.

Carter said the majority of the work for the boat launch will be completed this fall. Part of the project is also adding a couple sections of dock, which will be installed in the spring. “When you have to launch a boat, you’ll have a dock to help get in and out.”

He said there will be a picnic table area, and a larger parking area with handicapped spaces. There will also be more green space.

“It really should be a really nice area,” Carter said.

Carter said this location is advantageous over the boat launch nearby being replaced because of the river flow.

“With the other one, you’re backing against the current. Launching and reloading a boat onto a trailer, you’re always fighting the current. Whereas the new one is angled the opposite way, with the current, which will make it a lot easier to unload and to load,” he said.


Carter said the total cost of the project is $207,661. He said the state contributed $129,050 and also supplied the planks and material for the boat ramp. Additional costs include work by Pine Tree Engineering as well as archaeological surveying work by Northeast Archaeological Research Center in Farmington.

He said funds for the town’s portion of the project will come out of a capital account for other town properties as well as economic development funds.

“The river really has been getting used a lot, and steadily increasing, and probably since COVID because people are trying to do outside activities,” said Carter, adding, “But I think (usage) will expand even more with the new launch.”

He said, “We’re entering into a marketing campaign to attract people to the area, and recreation is a part of that.”

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