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As published in Toledo Business Journal - July 1, 2019

The completed Catawba Island State Park boat ramp renovation

The completed Catawba Island State Park boat ramp renovation

ODNR completes $2.1M boat ramp project

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has completed a $2.1 million renovation to the Catawba Island State Park boat ramp, one of the most heavily used boat ramps in Ohio, according to the ODNR.

The project included the replacement of an existing 66-foot wide, four-lane ramp with a new 88-food wide, four-lane ramp, resulting in a 30% increase in size. According to Rob Lucas, marketing manager for ODNR, division of parks and watercraft, steel piles were installed to accommodate the new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) courtesy docks and traffic flow was improved with new asphalt, striping, and with the extension of launch lanes.

“With its prime location for fishing, recreation, and its close proximity to the Bass Islands, the Catawba Island State Park launch ramp is one of the busiest in Ohio. Over the years, the extensive use and harsh winters have caused the ramp to degrade. Large pothole-size voids were noticeable in the ramp and the existing facility did not meet the growing demand to accommodate larger vessels effectively,” said Lucas.

According to Lucas, the first phase of the project – the boating access renovations and maneuver area improvements, began in mid-September 2017 and was completed that November. The second phase of the project – the boat launch replacement – began in July 2018 and was completed in early May 2019.

In-progress construction of the Catawba Island State Park boat ramp renovation

In-progress construction of the Catawba Island State Park boat ramp renovation

“We increased the size and the angle of the maneuvering area down to the ramps, repaved it, and then restriped it,” said Lucas.

The boating access renovations and maneuver area improvements were performed by Elyria, Ohio-based William Brothers Builders Inc. and the boat launch replacement was performed by Toledo-based Geo Gradel Co. RMF Engineering served as the architect for the project.

“The only obstacle during the project was the Lake Erie weather and the current high lake levels Ohio has been experiencing,” said Lucas.

Catawba Island State Park is home to various activities and amenities, including boating, fishing, picnicking, and winter recreation, noted Lucas.

“Four launch ramps provide access to Lake Erie. Canoes and kayaks may launch from the cobblestone beach, located along the shoreline near the shelter house. A fishing pier provides access to the lake where yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, and walleye are dominant species. There are two picnic areas with modern restrooms are available, and in the winter, under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy ice-skating and ice fishing,” said Lucas.

Lucas noted that are there are currently no other projects ongoing at Catawba Island State Park.