Boaters: Evansville boat ramps are falling apart

By Gretchen Ross - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Kelsey Wheatcroft - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Boaters say boat ramps in the Evansville area are falling apart and damaging their boats. So, is anything being done to fix them?

The Parks Department says the funds are available to update the ramps but right now the ramp at Angel Mounds isn't scheduled to get replaced until next year.

And some boaters can't wait that long.

After spending July fourth watching fireworks from his boat Ron Herendeen says the middle ramp at Angel Mounds took a toll on his boat when it was time to leave.

Herendeen says the ramps at Angel Mounds as well as Dog town have not been fixed in years.

Herendeen says when the river levels are low there's not enough space between the ramp and the river.

The Parks and Recreation Department sent boaters like Herendeen a letter with an update on the repairs.

The Parks Department plans on using a new pre-stressed concrete ramp system. The letter says $250,000 has been allocated to repair the ramps at Dog town and Angel Mounds but that money might only cover the cost of one ramp.

Parks officials want to start fixing the Dog town ramp in the fall and the Angel Mounds work will start next year.

In the mean time the Parks Department plans on adding or removing rock in the river to protect the ramps.

The fire department will help provide underwater scans.

Signs are posted to warn boaters of the ramp conditions but Herenden doesn't think those signs are enough.

Herendeen says, "Use different ramps. Or they're going to be deterred from using their boat. So you know there's going to be a lot of businesses that will suffer if they start going across state lines."

The Parks Department has hired America's Engineering to oversee improvement project for the ramps to start in the fall.

The department is now working with the park commissioners to get permission to seek bids.

©2010 WFIE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.