Ramp re­pairs ‘worth the wait’

Melville Times - - NEWS - Aaron Corlett

THE City of Melville is ask­ing the pub­lic to be pa­tient after the boat ramps at Point Wal­ter were closed in De­cem­ber.

Peo­ple com­plained in the Melville City Chat after the main eastern ramp and a sec­ondary western ramp were shut down.

The main ramp is be­ing up­graded, with con­struc­tion to be com­pleted by late Fe­bru­ary, while the sec­ondary ramp has been closed per­ma­nently.

City of Melville chief ex­ec­u­tive Marten Tiele­man said sev­eral fac­tors had af­fected the pro­ject tim­ing, in­clud­ing the fact that a large por­tion of the revet­ment works was best suited to be­ing com­pleted dur­ing sum­mer weather con­di­tions and tides.

“The tim­ing of fund­ing al­lo­ca­tion from the De­part­ment of Trans­port’s Recre­ational Fa­cil­i­ties Boat­ing Fa­cil­i­ties Scheme and ap­provals re­quired from State agen­cies also im­pacted the works sched­ule,” he said.

“We ac­knowl­edge the tim­ing of the three-month clo­sure is the worst time for boat­ies, but the pay­back of this ma­jor up­grade will be a new boat ramp and fin­ger jetty that will be a vast im­prove­ment on the pre­vi­ous boat ramp, like the re­cently up­graded Deep Wa­ter Point boat ramp that was com­pleted in time for the busy sum­mer sea­son is prov­ing to be.”

Mr Tiele­man said the City had sig­nage at the Point Wal­ter eastern boat ramp for some time ad­vis­ing of the De­cem­ber 1 clo­sure, along with a me­dia re­lease, so­cial me­dia and web­page up­dates.

“The City also li­aised with Ma­rine Safety, De­part­ment of Trans­port who pro­moted the clo­sure via their so­cial me­dia, web­site and news­let­ter out­lets,” he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately with the clo­sure of the eastern boat ramp, the old western ramp, which has not been used for boat launch­ing for a num­ber of years, ex­cept oc­ca­sion­ally by jet skis, ca­noes and the odd dinghy, was used again by the pub­lic to launch boats of all sizes, pre­sent­ing a num­ber of new safety con­cerns to the City.

“The safety is­sues are par­tially due to the poor con­di­tion of the old western ramp, with a num­ber of large cracks and holes on the deck and no kick plates down the side of the ramp to keep trail­ers from skew­ing off the ramp.

“The very shal­low wa­ters at the end of the old ramp also means to reach deeper wa­ters, boats must nav­i­gate close to the shore to­wards the eastern ramp to then exit out through a nar­row chan­nel.”

The Point Wal­ter boat ramp is closed to the pub­lic un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary for up­grades.

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