Mega-ramp work begins

Published 7:34 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Work began Monday on the City of Bainbridge’s mega boat ramps at the Earle May Boat Basin.

After several years of anticipation, the three double-laned boat launching ramps are scheduled to be completed in October, just in time for when a BASS Open tournament is scheduled for Oct. 7-9. Shortly after the BASS tournament, another major bass tournament is also scheduled in the fall.

“It’s going to be a big project, and I think I can get it done by October,” said Bainbridge Public Works Director Tommy King.

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The Army Corps of Engineers finally issued the permit last week, said King, who cited the project’s storm drainage and run-off were its main sticking points.

The first phase of the project is to make way for re-routing Boat Basin Circle around behind the Performing Acts building to Cox Avenue. That road will be redirected up the hill toward the nature trail, and the extra space left from where the old ballfields were will become parking for vehicles and their trailers.

There will be 138 parking spaces, to be extra long for trailers, as well as two holding and drainage ponds, King said.

Half of the construction of the $1 million multi-lane “mega” boat ramps will be paid for by the state’s Go Fish initiative and the other half will come from local capital money. The area around the ramps will include restrooms.

Ninety to 95 percent of the work will be done by city employees, King said.

City officials have lobbied for the mega ramps for several years now, hoping to capitalize on the tourism dollars big-name bass tournaments bring to the community as well as improving the area’s main entrance into the Flint River and Lake Seminole.