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Ramp Repair

Madison city officials plan repairs
to boat launch area

Underwater dropoff has caused
many problems for boaters



(August 2015) – Many boaters have had trouble with the Madison, Ind., boat ramp while pulling their boats in and out of the water and causing damage to their vessel or trailers.
Tim Palmer, a Madison boater said, “I have actually bent a trailer hitch at the drop off before.”

Photo by Patti Watson

The City of Madison last year installed this boat dock for day travelers to tie off their vessels. It includes a pump station. Now the city is planning to repair a severe underwater dropoff at the launch area that has caused many boaters trouble and in some cases damage while trying to launch their boats.

However, the problem will soon be fixed, thanks to the city of Madison and the Indiana Department of National Resources Division of Natural Wildlife. The city of Madison received a Sportfish Restoration Grant of $205,000 from the federal government to correct the issues on the ramp. Of that, the state will pay $153,750 and the city and Riverfront Development Committee will pay $51,250. The plan is to take out the old concrete slab that is uneven and replace it with a new one. The slab will be poured on land and then slid back into the water.
The project’s construction will start Sept. 1 and be completed sometime in November, according to Andrew Forrester, the City of Madison’s Community Relations Manager.
“We want to keep part of the ramp open during construction. We planned this project to take place at the end of boating season so we do not interrupt the boaters.”
The size of the section that will be fixed is 60 feet wide. Hypothetically, there should be enough room to back six trailers at once in that space, Forrester said.
“Land consultants from Lawrenceburg (Ind.) came up with the designs, and we have all our permits with the DNR and U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers. All applicable permits have been applied for and accepted.”
The slab replacement project was designed by Eric Lang & Co. in Lawrenceburg, Ind. The company recently completed a similar project in Rising Sun, Ind.
They city also wants to repave and re-line the ramp. Right now, it is still just a possibility because of the tight budget.
Forrester said, “The fact that we recognize the riverfront as an asset is important, and we want to make that area the best it can be.”
This is a continuation of improving the boating facilities for residents and visitors. A few years back, the docks were redone. Last summer, a temporary day dock was installed, complete with pump-out station.
“I think its going to be great for our boaters I’m excited for it because we are the only major launching point for a number of miles of the river,” Forrester said. “It’s important and I think that the fact that the state has recognized us is something to be proud of.”
“If they fix the boat ramp I will probably use it more often,” Palmer said. “I think Kentucky boaters will come to Madison and use it more often, also. The ramp is aged, and it shows. We are a gem in Indiana, and I think we should make that area look inviting for everyone.”

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