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Work on Coquina North boat ramp could begin in early 2017

The closed Coquina North Boat Ramp is the next on Manatee County’s list of boat ramp repairs. The boat ramp closed in February 2015 due to public safety concerns.
The closed Coquina North Boat Ramp is the next on Manatee County’s list of boat ramp repairs. The boat ramp closed in February 2015 due to public safety concerns. caronson@bradenton.com

After being closed since February 2015, work on the complete renovation of the Coquina North Boat Ramp could finally begin in the beginning of 2017.

Manatee County is seeking bids for a contractor to renovate the ramp, 1343 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach, which was closed as a safety precaution. Bids are due at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27.

“It’s a complete renovation,” said Alan Lai Hipp, Manatee County’s environmental program manager. “Everything there, the dock and the seawall, are going to be completely redone. The ramp will be widened a little bit as two lanes with a floating dock in the middle. The parking lot will be resurfaced with concrete.”

While the cost will depend on the bids received, Lai Hipp said they are looking at $1 million.

“It was difficult for bigger boats to use that ramp,” he said. “Now the ramp is going to have more gradual slope to it and more useable to a little bit larger vessels.”

Farther east, the county’s Fort Hamer boat ramp will close Dec. 1 for a complete renovation, as well. While the other work on the park has already been completed, the contractor wanted to wait until after hurricane season to complete the water side, Lai Hipp said.

“That one is a little less extensive because all the upland work is already done,” he said.

The work at the boat ramp, 1605 Fort Hamer Road, will also include a complete replacement of the docks and ramp as well as the addition of a floating dock, Lai Hipp said.

“There is never a good time to close a boat ramp here, but it has to be done,” he said. “We are doing it so that these major renovations of this type aren’t going to be needed for a long time.”

The county also has plans to work on both Kingfish and Coquina South boat ramps in the future.

“We haven’t yet determined the timing on those,” Lai Hipp said.

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson

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