ESSEX– Construction is expected to begin on Sept. 8 for a new town boat launch to the Connecticut River at the foot of Main Street.
The long-awaited project will be funded by a state Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant awarded in September 2009. The town had unsuccessfully applied for grant funding for the boat launch project in 2007 and 2008.
The work will be done by Old Colony Construction of Clinton, which was selected last month from 12 bidders for the project. The Old Colony Construction bid was $92,000. David Caroline, the town’s director of public works, will supervise the project.
The new boat launch will be larger than the existing one, and similar in design to the state boat launch located under the Baldwin Bridge in Old Saybrook. Town officials have been planning for a new boat launch for years, contending the existing one can not accommodate larger boats and is difficult to use at low tide.
First Selectman Phil Miller said the work must be done between Sept. 8 and Oct. 29 to avoid impacting the nesting schedule for bald eagles on nearby Notts Island. The town dock will be closed during the construction period, along with sections of the turnaround circle at the end of Main Street. Most of the construction work will be done during periods of low tide.