On Monday, October 15, 2012, instead of walking across the Swinging Bridge to work at the mill as they did decades ago, three longtime or former residents of Topsham cut a yellow ribbon and headed out for a stroll along the new Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk in a procession led by the Woodside One Wheelers from the Woodside School in Topsham.
Dan Stewart, Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator with Maine Department of Transportation spoke at the ceremony preceding the ribbon-cutting and explained why projects like the Androscoggin Riverwalk are necessary. According to Stewart, “These types of improvements help make our communities places where people want to live, to work, and move businesses. This project improves safety, transportation, the economy, and opens up this beautiful river to the people of the region….it is now a destination.”
The Riverwalk will enable people of any ability to walk or ride in stroller, bicycle, wheelchair, and even unicycle (no motorized vehicles) to enjoy the 1.25-mile loop on both sides of the Androscoggin River between the “Green” (Frank J. Wood) and Swinging bridges.
Future stages of the Riverwalk’s development will occur on Mill Street and adjacent to Fort Andross in Brunswick and create a park and overlook stair at the Priority Business Center in Topsham.
Central Maine Power and NextEra Energy Resources granted public access to land used for the Riverwalk. Brunswick Rotary Community Fund acts as fiscal agent for the project, allowing donations to be tax deductible. Terracon Consulting Engineers & Scientists donated all geo-technical services for this portion of the project. Priority Group LLC and Waterfront Maine/Fort Andross provide meeting space for project volunteers and coordination. The support and encouragement of the Parks and Recreation Departments of both Brunswick and Topsham were indispensable in making the Riverwalk a reality.