Boat ramp finally sets sail in CG

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

After almost a decade in the hopper, it would seem as if Coal Grove boaters will have a new port.

The village has accepted a bid for the ramp, to be built where Ice Creek connects to the Ohio River, to the tune of $642,000, around $20,000 less than the grants supplied by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Wildlife.

It’s the culmination of the village and ODNR’s effort to get the ramp off the ground — or into the water as it were — that began in 1997.

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The project has been stalled twice before because initial bids were too high. Although it has increased in cost since 2004 when it was projected to cost about $530,000, it has been scaled down in size.

Instead of two lanes, the ramp will feature one, and the access road that was once a loop around the facility will now be a two-lane entrance and exit. The area also has been designed to include a blacktop parking lot.

Despite a slightly smaller scale, Coal Grove Mayor Larry McDaniel isn’t deterred. He’s still hoping that the ramp will provide a big boost to the area.

“Hopefully it’ll bring business to the village, people buying groceries or gas or whatever,” McDaniel said. “It’ll be great for any kind of pleasure boating. It finally looks like we’re good to go.”

What’s still a bit fuzzy is when boaters will first get to try out the ramp, but McDaniel said that South Webster-based Mark Allard Excavation, which won the bid, said work would begin soon.

“I signed the contracts yesterday, and they told be that within a month they’d probably be starting,” McDaniel said.

It is not yet decided when the project is slated to be completed.