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Port, City rebuilding the Water Street boat launch

Construction is now under way to rebuild the public boat launch at Water Street in downtown Port Orchard.

Recognizing the need for improvements to the facility, the Port of Bremerton partnered with the City of Port Orchard to modernize the ramp and improve the lighting in the parking lot.

It is set to reopen on Friday, March 15.

For many years, the Water Street ramp served recreational boaters and businesses that rely on launching and recovering boats as a convenient — cost effective and reliable facility.

During this time, the partnership between the Port and the City was key to keeping the ramp operational, with the Port owning and maintaining the parking lot and adjacent park, and the City maintaining the ramp and floats.

In 2011, the Port and City recognized that time had finally caught up with the ramps and floats, and modern, more energy efficient lighting was needed in the parking lot.

“We are convinced that this project will reflect a very positive return on investment of tax dollars to the large number of public users who rely on this boat launch year round,” said Port Commission President Larry Stokes, who represents District 2. “Additionally, having a convenient ramp available for boat manufacturers and businesses involved in boat repair will directly support business growth and economic development,”

The Port has taken the lead in financing and managing the project. The $402,000 construction project — awarded to Quigg Brothers Inc.,  of Aberdeen — consists of demolishing the old ramps, removing the old concrete floats and wood piles, build new ramps, install new steel piles to hold in place modern aluminum frame floats.

The deep water end of the ramps is being rebuilt to better stand up to tidal and boat prop wash currents.

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