US Army Corps of Engineers
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Marginal Way Shore and Bank Protection Project

Marginal Way

Marginal Way is in Ogunquit, a popular recreational resort on the coast of Maine located about 15 miles north of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and 40 miles southwest of Portland. The town’s two major attractions are Ogunquit Beach and Marginal Way.

Marginal Way is a public footpath that starts near the center of town and follows the edge of the ocean atop rugged cliffs to Perkins Cove. The walkway is 1.5 miles long and was constructed in 1926 on land donated by abutting property owners. Marginal Way’s two beaches and numerous scenic vistas annually attract approximately 50,000 visitors who enjoy its beauty and elegant charm. Marginal Way is within walking distance of the center of Ogunquit, and a trolley provides convenient transportation during the summer.

A 390-foot-long reach at the northern section of the walkway, near the mouth of the Ogunquit River, was subject to severe erosion from wave attack during coastal storms. About 150 feet of this section was washed out during a coastal storm in November 1983, and was rebuilt by the town with stone slope protection. The remaining 240 feet, immediately north of the rebuilt portion of the walkway, was left unprotected and was in immediate danger of suffering severe coastal storm damage.

To help protect this valuable natural resource, the Corps placed stone slope protection along the exposed 240 feet of walkway. Construction was accomplished between JanuaryApril 1987 and cost $250,000. The work was built under Section 14 of the Corps’ Continuing Authorities Program.