New boat ramps to launch in October

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coming this fall, both professional anglers and weekend boaters alike will get to enjoy new and improved boat ramps at the Earle May Boat Basin.

The City of Bainbridge’s project to build three new multi-lane boat ramps is proceeding according to schedule, City Manager Chris Hobby said after Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The current project schedule calls for the ramps to be ready for use by Oct. 1, in time for two major professional fishing tournaments scheduled to be held that month, Hobby said.

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The city government is currently soliciting bid proposals on the metal floating docks, also known as the “mega-ramps” the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is teaming up on as part of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s “Go Fish Georgia” initiative. Bids will be opened by city staff on July 20 and reviewed by the City Council later that day, according to Hobby. From there, there will be an anticipated 60-day construction schedule on the ramps, including delivery and assembly, he said.

“Some things are beyond our control…” Hobby said. “We’re hopeful that all goes well.”

In the meantime, Bainbridge Public Works employees will continue site preparation and other work associated with the ramp project. Rough grading was recently done for a large parking lot that will go where two old ball fields used to be. New paving to redirect Boat Basin Circle around where the ramps will go is expected to begin within the next week, Hobby said. After that, part of the existing road will be torn up.

Then, Public Works will excavate dirt from the southeastern side of the Boat Basin to make way for the ramps. Large concrete blocks will be poured in the water to serve as anchors for the floating docks.

Near the parking lot, a new restroom facility designed and built by city employees will go up for boaters’ around-the-clock convenience.

Although the mega-ramps will go a long way toward attracting revenue-generating fishing tournaments, Hobby stressed the boat ramps are also going to improve citizens’ recreation.

“It’s going to be easier to launch, and I think as a whole the facility is better laid out,” Hobby said. “This is going to be the nicest facility of its kind in our area.”