Topsham Public Works staff made minor adjustments to Riverwalk drainage patterns over the summer to prevent cold-weather icing in certain locations along the path. They increased the depth of some swales – shallow, sloped depressions in the grassy soil – and added one additional swale to lead rain water and snow melt to culverts installed under the Riverwalk path. This work will minimize surface water crossing the path toward the Androscoggin and reduce ice formation.
These photos illustrate areas where the Public Works Department modified the swales, nearly invisible in the grass and leaves.
The drainage work was performed outside of the mowed area with no removal of trees, thus minimizing the disturbance to scenic views. Since completed, grass has sprouted and grown in the swales. They seem to be working well in controlling runoff and it is anticipated that they will help keep the Riverwalk drier as the snow melts and the spring showers start.
Finally, there is an area near the parking lot where the water drains across the walk and “puddles up”. This picture from last March show how the sand washes onto the walk. Topsham Public Works Director Dennis Cox plans to cut back the grassy area on the river side of the path to let the water flow off the path more quickly. The work is scheduled for this Fall or in the Spring, at the latest, according to Cox.
The Androscoggin Riverwalk linking Brunswick and Topsham via the historic Androscoggin Swinging Bridge and the Frank J. Wood Bridge will be a safe, fully-accessible, all-season 1.25-mile loop path for pedestrians and cyclists.