About the Project
Fort Preble, located in South Portland, ME on the SMCC Campus, not only has historical value but also serves as a piece of critical infrastructure, serving as a breakwater to hold back the waters from the Atlantic. Over the years, erosion has taken a toll on the Fort and the December 24, 2022 storm caused substantial damage, making some of the upper granite pieces unstable. SMCC is now having work done to stabilize the Fort and prevent future damage. Read the full press release.
FAQ’s About the Fort Preble Stabilization
Who is responsible for the work being done?
Following a survey of the area, SMCC worked with Tec Associates of South Portland to develop plans to stabilize the Fort. Great Falls Construction was selected to do the work which began during the week of September 4, 2023.
What is involved in the stabilization process?
The scope of work includes fencing in the areas most at risk, adding erosion control measures, including sub drainage, removing unstable granite blocks, cataloging the locations from which the blocks are removed and storing the granite blocks safely on the site so that they can be reassembled at a future time when funding allows.
When will the stabilization be complete?
The stabilization project is expected to be completed by late November 2023.
History of Fort Preble
Fort Preble, one of Maine’s most historic installations, was built in the early 1800s to defend Portland Harbor during the War of 1812. The Fort was named after Portland native Commodore Edward Preble, a naval hero who served during the Barbary Wars. Over the years, the U.S. used Fort Preble for a variety of military purposes, including as a training facility for soldiers during World War II. The Fort was deactivated in 1950 and in 1952, the State of Maine obtained it and converted it into a facility for the Maine Vocational Technical Institute, which ultimately became SMCC.
The Fort is also a breakwater for Portland harbor. A breakwater is a structure built along a shoreline to protect boats and ships from the force of waves and currents. It is typically made of large rocks or concrete blocks and is designed to absorb the impact of the waves and redirect their energy away from the harbor or marina. Additional construction began in 1837 after a severe storm destroyed wharves and houses along the Portland/South Portland shoreline.