We've all been watching that hole on the waterfront get bigger.

Every day when I leave work, I travel across the Veteran's Bridge between Bangor and Brewer. For the last couple of years, it's given me a bird's eye view of the progress they've been making on that large-scale dig project on the waterfront behind Hollywood Casino and Geaghan's. It's been quite the project to behold.

The city has been installing a multi-million-gallon storage tank to trap raw sewage and wastewater before it gets into the Penobscot River. A noble pursuit on its own. But they've also needed someplace to put all the dirt they've been digging up, and honestly, the city has found some truly crafty ways to get rid of it.

The dirt they've been digging can't just go anywhere.

According to the BDN, that area, having been a rail yard back in the day, is what's called a "brownfield" area. In a nutshell, the dirt that comes from that area is contaminated with heavy metals and chemicals, and either has to be put in an expensive landfill or moved to an identical brownfield site.

Bangor was able to put literally tons of it into the Maine Savings Amphitheater, as they needed fill to bring up the sightlines in their lawn area, and also a ton of it has gone over near the Essex Trails in Bangor, which is another designated brownfield site. That area was a dump in the 60's, so it's the perfect spot for all that now.

It was also a fantastic financial move.

They also used some in that same area to create a new parking lot at 615 Essex Street, and upgrade the trailhead so it connects right to the Essex Trails. But the best part, is after all was said and done, this saved the city over half a million dollars in disposal fees, which is huge.

It all certainly answered a question I asked myself a few times, as to where all that dirt was going. And now we know. It's nice to be able to identify a need, and use something to solve the problem that would otherwise go to waste. Nice job Bangor.....


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