Brunswick improves downtown environs
Mix months of construction, hardworking private contractors,
and $1.2 million and the result is a more pedestrian-friendly downtown
Brunswick. The groundwork for this massive improvement plan came about
with the formulation and approval of the Downtown Master Development Plan
by the Town of Brunswick in 1998.
The areas selected for renovation include Maine Street from
the Pleasant Street intersection to the north entrance of Bowdoin College,
and lower Maine Street from the Route 1 overpass to Fort Andross. Pleasant
Street from the Maine Street intersection to Cushing Street, as well as
Park Row, the road parallel to Maine Street, were also chosen for improvement.
The first phase of physical improvements began in May of
2001 after all necessary funds were received as explained by John Foster
of Brunswick's Public Works. Changes to the façade of downtown
Brunswick included the addition of aesthetic brick sidewalks, attractive
granite curbing, resplendent globe-faceted pedestrian lamp posts, novel
park benches, additional greenery, (including trees and bushes) and new
municipal signs lining the downtown streets.
The goal of this two-phase project was to create "An
enhanced pedestrian environment downtown" as Theo Holtwijk, Brunswick
Director of Planning and Development, pointed out.
The Brunswick Intown Group helped lead the campaign to beautify
downtown Brunswick by pledging to raise 20% of the $1.2 million budget.
This membership-based organization of merchants and nonprofit groups raised
$200,000 from 35 businesses and institutions in Brunswick.
As confirmed by William Torrey, the Vice President for Planning
and Development at Bowdoin, the college donated $75,000 of the $200,000
over a five-year period. Torrey noted that the downtown improvements are
of special interest to the college because of the increased accessibility
and safety that the changes bring to the town of Brunswick where Bowdoin
is so comfortably nestled. David Millar, Chairman of the Brunswick Intown
Group fundraising campaign, stated that, "We wanted to connect the
town to the college."
The changes should be complete in three weeks according to Public Works. Next spring, the town of Brunswick will undergo the final stage of the plan-the installment of new traffic signals-which are set to cost about $60,000. To see the beautifully altered downtown area, simply step off campus and down Maine Street to see all that Brunswick has to offer.