UPDATE: Newspaper tries to build a bridge

 Bridge photo taken by the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier.

Bridge photo taken by the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier.

Saco Island would like to commend Courier reporter Ben Meiklejohn for figuring out that building a new pedestrian bridge between downtown Biddeford and Saco is a complicated business, more complicated than had been realized.

Meiklejohn wrote his story, “Bridging the gap?” and raised the question about who actually owns the mezzanine leading to the bridge, and therefore, who needed to sign the easement. Turns out Meiklejohn was right, the path to the bridge is a “limited common element,” and another party needed to sign the critical easement required to move the project forward. 

The good news is that Meiklejohn’s article spurred good communications among multiple parties, and that produced a lot more clarity about what needs to be done to build the bridge. In a burst of activity, various interested stakeholders met and agreed on a go-forward plan for the bridge that is now very close to completion. But his article also made it abundantly clear that this is complicated. As we have stated before, we love what the Cities of Biddeford and Saco have proposed. We strongly support the idea of a pedestrian bridge spanning the Saco River and connecting Saco Island with the Pepperell Mill Campus.

While we are very close to finalizing the project, a few final steps remain. We’ll keep you posted, but the odds of success have risen exponentially in the last three weeks. It just goes to show you, when people of good faith share a common goal and communicate, a lot can happen. We want to publically thank the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier and Ben Meiklejohn for paying attention to this issue. Their reporting helped bring the parties together and, in the end, they deserve credit for what will ultimately be a fantastic pubic private partnership that will benefit both communities for years to come.