The town’s only public boat ramp received a big makeover last month, and town residents are pleased with the end result.
The 30-year-old Linley Street boat ramp in the Longbeach Village closed mid-May for a much-needed overhaul and reopened July 4, ahead of schedule.
The project was originally planned for March but was rescheduled to avoid conflicting with season.
“It’s a very popular ramp, especially for Longbeach Village residents who don’t have waterfront access on their properties,” said Public Works Director Juan Florensa. “We had been keeping an eye on it, and it was time to make some upgrades.”
Interlocking pavers that previously made it difficult for boaters to ease their boats into the water smoothly have been replaced with a smoother concrete surface.
The ramp was also extended 10 feet into the water because boaters complained for years that their trailers were falling into the bay when they attempted to back their larger boats into the water.
“Times have changed, and boats and engines are bigger, and longer trailers are the norm,” Florensa said. “These changes help accommodate the new norm.”
The $95,670 cost to perform the upgrades was offset by a $51,000 grant from the West Coast Inland Navigation District.
Florensa said it took 18 months to receive a permit from the state.
“It was a lengthy process, but the end result was a project that had no impact to the surrounding seagrasses and mangroves in the area,” Florensa said.
Town staff worked with Village residents to receive their input on the project and to ensure it didn’t impact them.
“We held off on the project until after season,” Florensa said.
The town also improved the small parking area to the left of the ramp. At the request of the Longbeach Village Association, town staff also improved the fish bait-preparation area on the dock adjacent to the boat ramp by installing a sink with running water.
“It’s been very well received, and locals love it,” Florensa said.
Longbeach Village resident Rusty Chinnis said he gave town staff “big kudos” for the upgrades.
“The ramp is flatter and not as steep,” Chinnis said. “It’s much more stable, and we love it.”
Longbeach Village Association President Michael Drake also complimented the town in a July 16 email.
“On behalf of the entire Village neighborhood, we thank you for a job well done,” Drake wrote.
Drake said the association plans to purchase a dock ladder and has also urged the town to replace some rotting wooden boards on the town dock.
"It was a lengthy process, but the end result was a project that had no impact to the surrounding seagrasses and mangroves in the area." — Public Works Director Juan Florensa