Weweantic river observation deck approved for Papermill Road

Apr 8, 2021

After a brief public hearing on April 7, the Conservation Commission unanimously approved plans for a deck to be built on Douglas Westgate Conservation property at a town-owned lot on Papermill Road.

Conservation Administrator David Pichette explained that the project would involve the construction of an observation deck along the Weweantic River, which would be built on an existing poured concrete foundation that was once a pumphouse for cranberry bogs.

“The existing foundation is approximately 5 to 7 feet from the edge of the River,” Pichette said. “All work would be on or within the existing concrete foundation, with the exception of two support posts needed for a short ramp to get from the ground to the deck.” 

Once the ramp is installed, Pichette said the deck would be accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

He said the additional support posts would involve minimal disturbance to the ground and noted that the work would be done by hand before recommending that the board approve the plans. 

Dave Menard, the director of municipal maintenance, attended the meeting to speak on behalf of the project. 

“This is a wonderful project for the town,” he said. “It’s going to be a beautiful site for the people to view the river and everything else, and I hope the board will vote in favor of it.”

Board Chair Sandy Slavin said she visited the site and was eager for the deck to be built. 

“Standing out there yesterday and just listening to that river flow through and by the site, it was just so peaceful,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having a deck in which you can go up there and sit and listen and enjoy.”

The Conservation Commission unanimously voted to approve the project.