High and Dry

Madison transient boat dock
to arrive soon at riverfront

Boaters will soon have a place
to tie up for the day

(May 2013) – Thanks to the efforts of the Madison (Ind.) Riverfront Development Committee and financial support from a state grant and the City of Madison, a new boat dock will soon be available at the Madison riverfront.

Boat Ramp

Photo by Don Ward

New facilities are on
the way to improve the
Madison Boat Ramp.

A 10x100-foot steel dock is being made at Adams Marina, located about six miles upriver from the city boat ramp at a cost of $80,000. Once completed, it will be floated down the Ohio River to the city boat ramp, where it will be installed and available for temporary boat dockage by area boaters, according to John Bruns, who headed up the project for the committee.
A boater himself, Bruns worked with city officials to obtain a matching grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in the amount of $54,000. The grant, secured via the Boating Infrastructure Grant and Clean Vessel Act, required that 25 percent be funded locally, so the Riverfront Development Committee and the City of Madison split that amount, which totaled $26,000, according to Andrew Forrester, Community Relations Manager for the City of Madison.
Another grant for $21,750 was awarded the city to pay for the pump-out station, which costs $29,000. The city and the committee split the matching total of $7,250 for the pump-out station, Forrester said. A pump-out is a hose and holding tank that allows boaters to remove waste from their boats. It will stay in the holding tank (within the dock) until it is pumped out and sent to the city’s wastewater treatment facility.
Bruns said he expects the boat dock to be ready “sometime in late summer.” Bruns said he wanted to emphasize that the boat dock is for day visitors only and does not allow overnight docking or amenities such as electric or water hookups. He said overnight visitors should contact the Madison Lighthouse or the Rivercrest Marina for overnight boat docking services.
“Our intent is not to compete with our friends at Madison Lighthouse or Rivercrest Marina,” Bruns said. “This boat dock is for people to tie off their boats for a few hours while they go into town to shop or eat. This is for trailer boats – that is our mission.”
In addition, the committee plans to have the city boat ramp paint-striped for parking, traffic flow and launching up to six boats at one time, according to committee president, Jim Pruett. They plan to create launching lanes by painting the lane stripes on the pavement.
To make boat launching easier, the committee is now raising money to install a concrete slab under water at the city boat ramp to provide a smooth surface for launching boats. Currently, there is a severe dropoff under the water at the ramp that has been caused by longterm erosion, said Pruett, who is also a boater. He said it has been difficult for launching larger boats because they must be backed farther into the river. That’s when they encounter the dropoff.
A similar concrete slab boat ramp was installed last year in Rising Sun, Ind. A YouTube video of the installation is available online for those wanting to see how the process is done. To view it, simply search “Rising Sun Boat Ramp.” Essentially, a large slab of concrete is created and then pushed into the river using bulldozers.
“We are waiting to hear word on our application for a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife to help pay for the boat ramp,” Pruett said. It would also be a matching grant, he said. The cost is estimated to be about $60,000.
Once the grant is secured, the project would then be let for bid, so it may be fall before the boat ramp project begins.
There is a culvert located at the boat ramp now just east of the Madison Regatta grandstand. The committee plans to install the new boat dock downriver from the culvert and later install the concrete slab boat ramp just upriver from the culvert, Pruett said.

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