I have always felt that Augusta’s riverfront is one of the city’s best features.  History has shown that it has so much to offer, and I believe it has so much potential.

Through the first part of the 20th century, the Kennebec River was a major part of the city’s infrastructure.  The mighty Kennebec River provided power for the Edwards Mill and, thanks to a regular steamship schedule, connected Maine’s capital city to the rest of the world.

These days, following an extensive cleanup, the river hosts boaters and fishermen. Parks situated on both sides of the river give families a place to hangout on summer days.

Even though we believe the Augusta riverfront is great, there is always room for improvement.

It looks like some exciting changes could soon be coming to Augusta’s riverfront.

According to an article in the KJ, the city is seeking $4 million in federal funds for some updates to the riverfront.

The article explains that the money would be used to raise the level of the flood-prone Front Street.  The hope is that, by raising the level of the street by four feet, it would decrease the frequency at which it floods.  While it would not prevent the type of flooding we experienced during December’s storm, an increase of just four feet would mean the street would only flood half as much.

Additionally, it is hoped that this would make the river-facing spaces more appealing to potential tenants.  With those improvements, we could see ice cream shops, snack bars, cafes, and boutiques in those empty spots.

One of the other proposed improvements is a Kennebec River observation deck off Water Street.  The deck would be situated between 199 Water Street and 211 Water Street.  Based on the artist’s rendering of the deck, it appears that it would have benches, tables, and a small performance space.  It could end up being a great spot to hang out on a warm summer evening.

Google Maps
Google Maps

It remains to be seen if the proposal will be approved by the federal government.  It could be several more weeks before we find out if the funding has been approved.

Even if it is approved, there does not seem to be a timeframe on when the updates would be completed.

What are your thoughts?  What is your favorite part of Augusta?

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