‘Picture perfect’ spots win Causeway an award

BARBARA BECKWITH AND HER GROOM, T.J., pose on the Naples Causeway on their wedding day two years ago. In 2014, the Naples Causeway construction project won an America’s Transportation Award in the category of quality of place and community development. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Beckwith)

BARBARA BECKWITH AND HER GROOM, T.J., pose on the Naples Causeway on their wedding day two years ago. In 2014, the Naples Causeway construction project won an America’s Transportation Award in the category of quality of place and community development. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Beckwith)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — When Barbara Beckwith was planning her wedding, it was a piece of cake for her to decide where it would be held.

The Naples Causeway provided the picture-perfect place.

“I got married at the historical church. I had my reception on the Songo River Queen. The whole wedding was structured around the Causeway. It was beautiful,” Beckwith said.

“I hear the town office has been getting calls and people are inquiring if they can get married at the amphitheater on the Causeway,” she added.

Certainly, during a wedding, people make a point of taking plenty of photos, keepsakes of the milestone. But, it seems that any given day, someone is standing on the Causeway with a camera pointed in their direction.

“Now, it has really become a point of interest; and all around, everyone is capturing their special moment,” she said.

For the Naples resident, who now works for the Town of Gray, holding her wedding on the Causeway was doubly sweet. After all, she sat on the Causeway Restoration Committee with a dozen other residents and representatives from the Maine Department of Transportation.

It was truly a community collaboration that paid off by providing the town with a stellar infrastructure — down to every minor detail, Beckwith said.

“If you look over the Causeway, even as a person in town, you would think that had always been that way. It looks natural,” she said.

“As a citizen I have been able to enjoy the Causeway on foot and by boat. The varieties of the flowers and the trees after only being planted two years ago, it is absolutely beautiful,” she said.

Almost two years after she took her marital vows, Beckwith learned that the Causeway construction project had received one of America’s Transportation Awards. The category was quality of place and community development.

This fall, the Naples Causeway did not make it onto the list of the top 10 finalists around the nation. Those projects are vying for the People’s Choice Award via online voting.

For more information, go to http://americatransportationawards.org

Beckwith said she was flushed with pride when she heard about the award. In equal measures, she expressed gratitude for working together with community members and MDOT officials and the contractor Wyman & Simpson, Inc.

“As a committee member, there was time invested in every little decision. You wouldn’t believe how much time we spent in serious consideration of the tiniest detail,” she said.

“Having a part in picking out the flowers, the pattern of walkway — that is something I am proud of. For all of us, to see it all come together is something to be proud of,” she said.

“I think the majority of business owners along the corridor and the townspeople see that it is a vast improvement over what was there that was literally crumbling,” Beckwith said.

“They were worried about it taking away from the view. I think it enhances the views of the lakes and the landscape,” she said.

“I am thrilled and I am proud to bring my family and friends to the Causeway.

I think it is one of the gems of the Lake Region. It is a testament to the hard work of lots of people. Not giving up on the vision really paid off,” she said.

 

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