Boat Ramp Set to Close as Improvements Begin
An embankment worthy of a fortress has appeared at Pioneer Park, tweaked by heavy equipment and men with shovels. It promises to make life far better for boaters right after making it far worse.
“Due to the progress of the construction project, the boat ramp and parking area will be completely closed to boats and trailer parking effective Tuesday, Sept. 4,” the city announced in a press release.
The last boat will launch on Labor Day. Then the 1978 boat ramp is slated to get $387,000 in improvements before reopening in early December.
Expect a crowd. It’s been a year since North Broward county’s last free boat ramp instituted a $1 per hour charge, well below the fee charged by neighboring boat ramps. In fact, it was a fee of $45 in nearby Boca Raton that led Boca boaters attending a private party on a Boca Raton lake to park and launch from Pioneer Park’s free ramp. Twenty-seven parking tickets were issued on that day, and the new fee instituted shortly thereafter..
In recommending a parking fee of $1 per hour, then-parks and recreation director Bob Harbin said Broward County’s 48,000 boats would generate about $400,000 in fees -- somewhere in the county. Boaters had to park somewhere, he said at the time, and a grant-funded parking lot would enhance the value of the boat ramp.
A year later, the project is under way. Walt Bratton, the city’s director of parks and recreation, said Florida Inland Navigational District and the Broward Boating Improvement Project shared the cost. The existing ramp will be closed through early December.
Meanwhile, the city would like boaters to know that ramps with:
• 54 trailer-accommodating parking spaces are located at 1784 SE 15 St. in Fort Lauderdale;
• 68 trailer-accommodating and 21 vehicle-only spaces are located at 1101 Bayview Dr. in Fort Lauderdale;
• 22 trailer-accommodating spaces are located at 450 S.W. Seventh Ave. in Fort Lauderdale and,
• 80 spaces are available at Alsdorf Park in Pompano Beach.
For information call: Amanda Shafer, 954-480-4263.