MONTEREY – Marina del Rey will receive a $300,000 grant from the state of California to upgrade its Boat Launching Facility (BLF). The grant, which was sought by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, was unanimously approved Nov. 6 at the Cal Boating Commission meeting in Monterey.
According to official documents, the county seeks to improve the BLF to make it easier for users to access the marina. Cal Boating staff said the requested funding would pay for the BLF design, permits and an engineer’s estimate of construction costs.
“The grant will allow the department to plan, design and do other pre-construction work needed to upgrade the launch ramp, parking lot, queue dock, and perimeter fence at this aging facility,” said Carol Baker, chief of community and marketing services for Los Angeles County’s Department of Beaches and Harbors.
If realized, the new BLF would, according to Charlotte Miyamoto of the Department of Beaches and Harbors, allow the county to replace the already existing six-lane concrete launch ramp, pave and stripe the parking area, add a boat queue dock and ADA-compliant gangway and replace a perimeter fence.
“The existing concrete ramp is deteriorating. Sections of the v-grooved ramp exhibit rebar reinforcement exposure. Settling of the concrete ramp has created a change in slope between the cast-in-place and pre-cast sections. The change in slope makes removing vessels difficult during low tide,” Cal Boating staff said in its report.
“The existing parking area has many cracks and, if unattended, will continue to deteriorate. The striping has faded. Pedestrian and vehicle navigation is unguided, which pose potential hazards. Boaters often block the flow of traffic by tying their boats to the boarding floats at the boat launch ramp as they prepare their boats for retrieval or launching.
The chain link security fencing is deteriorating,” according to a Cal Boating report.
Keren Dill, the chief of Cal Boating’s loan and grant financial services, shared documentation with The Log indicating the county of Los Angeles could seek more than $2.6 million in grant funding to have the BLF constructed by the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
It would take about two years to complete the design process and permitting, according to Cal Boating.
County and state officials estimated the number of boat launches at the BLF between Sept. 1, 2013 and Aug. 31, 2014 was 9,334. If the BLF improvements are made, county officials estimate it could handle up to 11,387 boat launches, an increase of 22 percent.
Parking currently costs $12.50 per vehicle; there is no boat launch fee. Los Angeles County does not plan on increasing fees.
About 25 years ago, the commission approved a $649,000 grant to replace a six-lane boat launch ramp and three pile-guided boarding floats. In 2011, Marina del Rey was given a $700,000 grant to modify the entrance and exit of the BLF so recreational users could access the facility with greater ease.
The county will still seek additional funding for construction.
“Our intention is to apply for additional funding for the actual construction of the amenities that still need to be improved,” Baker said.