New Merrimack River Channel Could Boost Tourism

It’s that time of the year when Steven Carr gets his boat back into the Merrimack River.

“It’s been a long wait,” said Carr. “That’s for sure.”

Boaters like Carr can now go farther along the Merrimack River than previously thought, according to a new study.

The $30,000 study, completed by the Greater Haverhill Foundation, used sonar to discover a navigable channel for larger boats that stretches from Newburyport to Haverhill.

“(That) is 100-percent different than it was a couple of years ago,” said Ron Trombley, managing director of the Greater Haverhill Foundation.

Some parts of the river would have to be dug out to remove impediments, including the Rocks Village Bridge.

Hundreds of feet away from the bridge is an old block in the water that once acted as an anchor.

“The addition of some new buoys and re-positioning the buoys its really made a huge difference in making the trip from Newburyport to Haverhill,” said Dave Goodwin of the Greater Haverhill Foundation.

At The Tap near the public dock in Haverhill, their regulars usually show up by car or walk.

The restaurant/bar manager Jeremy Marcelonis said an open river would open them up to new customers.

“We have a few small boats come through to the small dock we have in the past, but having that become a consistent destination point in Haverhill would be phenomenal,” said Marcelonis.

The study is being seen as an opportunity to make Haverhill a destination on the water.