Byline: Taylor Hill
VENTURA — The California Boating and Waterways Commission approved a $2.25 million grant for upgrades to boat launching facilities in Ventura. The Ventura Port District will use the funds to replace the nearly 50-year-old, six-lane concrete boat launch ramp, reconfigure boarding floats, and provide slope protection at the Ventura Harbor Boat Launching Facility.
Currently, the launch ramp has six lanes for boat launching and retrieval, three 180-foot boarding floats, a six-unit restroom facility, a boat washdown area and 220 parking spaces.
According to the grant application, the existing boat ramp has deteriorated and is not sufficiently grooved for adequate traction for launching and retrieval of boats. In addition, portions of the pavement are damaged where settlement, cracking and undermining of the subgrade has occurred.
The existing parking, restroom and boat washdown areas are serviceable and not in need of replacement at this time, the application reported. Two existing boarding floats will be retrofitted to accommodate internal guide piles.
The wider and more efficient launch ramp is expected to increase the number of boat launchings in Ventura from 11,150 per year to 12,500.
In 2008, the Boating and Waterways Commission approved a grant for $450,000 to get the project design and permitting completed for the project. Currently, 60 percent of the plans have been completed, and permit applications have been submitted to the associated agencies.
Once completed, Ventura’s boat launch ramp will have expanded from six lanes to nine — with six designated for powerboats and three for non-motorized vessels.
While the original ramp was 266 feet wide for six lanes of traffic, the new ramp will be only 170 feet wide while still adding three more lanes. The narrower boat ramp costs much less than the original project estimate in 2008 of $4.5 million.
The port district expects construction to begin in October 2013 and finish in Spring 2014. If the project is stalled due to design or permit issues, the grant funds are expected to remain available through 2016.
In addition to the Ventura Harbor launch ramp grant, the commission also voted approval of a $840,000 grant for San Bernardino County’s Moabi Regional Park boat launch facility. The grant will help fund parking lot and exit lane improvements, a restroom replacement, a boat washdown area, related utilities and landscaping around the park.