The first of two boat launches planned for 2013 in Pierce County’s rehabilitation program reopened on July 24.
The launch at A Street KPS in Home reopened after two weeks to complete the project, said Kendal Willits, the county’s public works and utilities maintenance program manager.
The county will repave the A Street ramp on Aug. 9. The ramp will be closed for several hours. People may use nearby county-operated launch sites while the ramp is closed.
Eight boat launch ramps will be rehabilitated from 2012-16. Two were completed last year, two will be done this year, and one will be finished each year through 2016. Willits said a few that are more complicated will awarded to contractors to complete.
The county ramps were built in the 1930-40s and have only been repaired, never replaced, Willits said.
“They have been in dire need of replacement,” Willits said.
The ramps are being replaced with concrete panels purchased from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and are expected to last for 50 years, Willits said. The ramps should only need a little maintenance and to be cleaned over the years, Willits said.
The new ramps are equipped with grooves in the panels, making them safer than the previous ramps, Willits said. They also have products on them that are more friendly to the environment, as opposed to asphalt, which is bad for the water, Willits. said.
The project is being paid for with road department funds. The Pierce County Council decided that $50,000 will be taken out of road funds per ramp.
Boat launches are usually located at the end of a roadway.
“Basically, it’s a roadway on a beach,” Willits said.
Work will begin Aug. 19 on the second launch of the season at Wollochet Bay. The ramp will be closed through Aug. 23.