With the first hurdle cleared in Bar Harbor by a vote on re-zoning and acquiring an unused ferry terminal, a pier project could be complete sometime during 2019 or 2020.
"In the end the people wanted the town to own that parcel of land," commented Town Manager Cornell Knight following a recent town vote.
Now the focus will turn to a cruise business plan that will justify a pier project. The town of Bar Harbor will need to make a decision by November on its plans to acquire the ferry terminal from the Maine Department of Transportation.
The 2018 season, which sees large ships anchoring and tendering passengers in, is "fully booked" according to Knight, with 185 ships. Beyond that, he said 97 bookings are in for 2019, speaking to Cruise Industry News in early June. The town has bookings out to 2025.
The pier will help alleviate congestion problems in the downtown area of Bar Harbor, where a park serves as a landing site.
"Right now there is not a good staging area for busses," said Knight. "We have had to eliminate parking. At the ferry terminal we could put in a very good queuing system."