Work to shut Acadia sites

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Seawall Campground and most of the facilities at Sieur de Monts Springs will close for the season Sept. 6, more than a month earlier than usual, for septic system improvements that will cost more than $1.3 million.

The Island Explorer buses will continue to serve both locations until Columbus Day, but the bus stops will be moved.

At Sieur de Monts, the trailside Abbe Museum, Nature Center and restrooms will be closed, but the hiking trails and Wild Gardens of Acadia will remain open. Portable toilets will be available. There will be parking for a limited number of cars, but buses and RVs will be prohibited.

The sewage system that serves the Sieur de Monts facilities is being tied into the town of Bar Harbor’s municipal wastewater system at a cost of $950,000, according to park spokesman John Kelly. Repaving roads that will be torn up as part of the sewer tie-in work will cost an additional $90,000.

The Island Explorer bus stop at Sieur de Monts will be relocated to the Park Loop Road for the outbound Sand Beach route and to Route 3 near the Sieur de Monts entrance for the inbound Sand Beach route and both directions for the Loop Road route.

At Seawall, the picnic area and its restrooms will remain open through September. Although vehicles will not be allowed in the campground once it closes Sept. 6, Hio Road will remain accessible for walking and biking.

The Island Explorer’s Southwest Harbor route will continue its regular fall service, with the Seawall Campground stop relocated to Seawall Road at the entrance to the campground.

The park needs to overhaul the septic system at Seawall because of an “improvement” that was made when the current system was installed.

“It basically eliminated the inflow and infiltration of groundwater into the system, which is usually a good thing,” said Keith Johnston, Acadia’s chief of facilities maintenance, two years ago when the project was first being planned. “But the unintended consequence was that the water table rose enough that it’s affecting the functioning of the system.”

The cost of rebuilding the system to correct the problem is about $400,000.

Kelly said money for the two septic system projects is coming out of the National Park Service’s appropriation for repair and rehabilitation. The Federal Highway Administration is providing the funding for the repaving of roads at Sieur de Monts.

Both sewer improvement projects are to be completed by the end of November. During the construction period, there may be occasional, temporary one-lane closures on the Park Loop Road near Sieur de Monts and on Seawall Road at the campground.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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