The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is planning to widen the launch ramp at the state-owned Eagle Rock boat launch, seen here on Monday Oct. 16, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. Work at the site — which also includes dredging the area around the ramp and adding a floating dock and barriers to protect the surrounding wetland — will take place during the winter and next spring. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is planning to widen the launch ramp at the state-owned Eagle Rock boat launch, seen here on Monday Oct. 16, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. Work at the site — which also includes dredging the area around the ramp and adding a floating dock and barriers to protect the surrounding wetland — will take place during the winter and next spring. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

State to renovate Eagle Rock boat launch

By next July the state-owned Eagle Rock boat launch on the Kenai Spur Highway will have a wider ramp with dredged launch space, a floating dock, and barriers to prevent boat trailers from edging into the surrounding wetlands, according to plans by its managers, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Park and Outdoor Recreation.

The Division has drawn its final site plans, and is now getting conditional use permits for the work from the city of Kenai and the Kenai Peninsula Borough, as well as taking bids for construction contracts, Division of Parks Kenai Superintendent Jack Blackwell told the Kenai River Special Management Area advisory board during their meeting Thursday.

“We could potentially see construction beginning later this fall, depending on weather conditions,” Blackwell said. “We anticipate that work will take place in the winter months, then construction will be continuous as soon as the spring conditions allow. The intent is to have the facility construction completed before July some time.”

In summer 2014 the state purchased the Kenai River boat launch site — which since the 1950s had been owned and managed by the Poore family — with $12.3 million from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. The funding came with conservation requirements, prompting the Division to add barriers around the wetlands surrounding Eagle Rock’s parking lot, into which users sometimes push their boat trailers while parking.

Also in the renovation plans are river dredging around the boat ramp, installation of a floating dock, and a widening of concrete boat ramp leading into the water.

Reach Ben Boettger at benjamin.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

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