PALMETTO -- One of the busiest boat ramps in Manatee County is getting a makeover.
Construction will begin soon on the Riverside Boat Ramp in Palmetto.
"It's in pretty bad shape right now," said boater David Cavanah. "It's real shallow over here and the dock's kind of falling apart."
But it won't look that way for long. The city of Palmetto is getting ready to start a $1 million boat ramp construction project.
The following changes are expected:
The ramp will be extended from two to three boat launch accesses.
The channel will be dredged.
Additional dockage will be added to accommodate waiting boats.
Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant said the changes will spruce up the area.
"The boat docks will be made of a sustainable material," said Bryant. "They will not deteriorate like wood would. It's going to be a lot nicer. We'll have benches and other amenities in the area."
During construction, the boat ramp will be closed to the public.
Bryant said she hopes boaters will be patient during the work.
"We know the boaters will be inconvenienced for a short time, but we know it's going to be well
worth it," said Bryant. "We anticipate it will be one of the best ramps in Manatee County."
The mayor said construction was supposed to start earlier this year. However, they're still waiting for permits.
Once construction begins, it should only take a few months to finish, she said.
"It's a nice location for a ramp and it will be nice when it's a nice ramp to go with it," said Cavanah.
Along with the new boat ramp, the city will add red brick pavers and new landscaping. New decks and lighting and viewing benches will be added.
Construction is expected to start in a few months.
The following agencies are working with Palmetto on the new boat ramp: Community Redevelopment Agency, West Coast Inland Navigational District and Southwest Florida Water Management District.
In addition, the CRA has purchased approximately 5 acres for development across the street from the ramp and is working with the Florida Department of Transportation and the Sarasota Metropolitan Transportation Organization on a multi-year, multimillion-dollar multimodal roadway improvement to Riverside and 10th Avenue.