East End Waterfront Access Project (EEWAP)

The Background

In 2015 Friends of the Eastern Promenade launched the East End Waterfront Access Project, a multi-year initiative dedicated to investigating and improving public use of one of Portland’s most valuable resources, the east end waterfront. The Project’s initial phase is focused on improving water access and safety for non-motorized personal watercraft in the area of East End Beach. This work is to be performed in two stages, with an initial design effort – one involving input from a broad range of stakeholders – followed by a more capital-intensive construction phase.

The Funding

The design process is funded through a Shore and Harbor Planning Grant through the Maine Coastal Program, with a local contribution from Friends of the Eastern Promenade.  The construction phase will be funded through a Maine Department of Transportation Small Harbor Improvement Program (SHIP) grant, with matching funds to be raised by Friends of the Eastern Promenade.

The process is collaboratively managed by the City of Portland and Friends of the Eastern Promenade.

The Process

In partnership with the City of Portland, a core working group formed primarily of representatives from Friends of the Eastern Promenade and City staff met in September, 2015 to set project goals and establish an action plan. A larger group of key stakeholders, including representatives of numerous non-profits, commercial users of the East End Beach peninsula, and neighborhood advocates, met in December to provide input regarding perceived needs and possible solutions. Collins Engineers, Inc. were then engaged to develop this input into a set of design alternatives, with the goal of meeting the twin goals of improved access and improved safety. 

A second stakeholders meeting was held in early April, 2016 to review initial, draft design alternatives. A public forum convened in late April to introduce the draft designs to the public and gather additional feedback. As a result of this valuable public input, the “preferred alternative” design underwent revision. Completion of the design phase is now anticipated for end of 2016, with construction to be complete by the end of 2018.