Dresden’s new boat ramp at the site of the old Dresden-Richmond bridge now has a parking area to encourage its use during the first summer season since its completion. The grassy area across the street from the boat ramp on Lincoln Road was recently mowed and can accommodate several cars, or about four vehicles with trailers, Third Selectman Allan Moeller said.
The parking area “has been a fluid point” in the construction of the boat ramp, Dresden Planning Board Chair Jeff Pierce said. The contractor for the new Dresden-Richmond bridge, Reed & Reed, offered to build the boat ramp at the old bridge site at no cost to the town.
Due to the receipt of federal funds for the bridge project, the original design for the project could not be changed to accommodate a paved or gravel parking area, according to Pierce.
“Certain things were already set that we couldn’t alter,” Pierce said. The planning board identified an area, which had been designated as a reclamation site in the original design for the new bridge, as a parking location for the boat ramp.
The area is now ready for vehicles, Moeller said at the Dresden Board of Selectmen’s Monday, July 25 meeting. Signage to identify where cars can and cannot park at the site will be installed shortly, he said.
While the area is grass, there is gravel underneath, which will prevent vehicles from getting stuck, Pierce said. The gravel area was covered with grass as part of the reclamation, or restoration, of the site, which was required in the original design for the DresdenRichmond bridge. Trees were also planted in the parking area, because they were included in the original design, Pierce said. Two of the recently planted trees can serve as markers for cars to park between, Pierce said, with room for vehicles with trailers to park at the outer edges of the area. Now that construction is complete and Dresden has assumed ownership of the site, the town could convert the current parking area into a gravel lot if the need arises, Pierce said.
The boat ramp is new to the town and the parking situation is “still fairly fluid,” Pierce said. If there is increased use of the site and not enough parking is available, the design of the parking area could be revisited, he said. Since the town assumed ownership, the selectmen are now the primary decision-makers regarding the site, Pierce said. There may be a need for a maintenance plan for the site, he said, noting that a log had drifted onto the ramp and may need to be cut up and removed. If asked, Pierce said he would be happy to help with the plan’s development. “It’s the simple way,” Pierce said. “Where the responsibility falls doesn’t really matter if it’s good for the town.”