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Warner's Bayou boat ramp closed for paving, March 23 through mid-May

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 18, 2015) – Warner’s Bayou boat ramp, located at 5900 Riverview Blvd. will be closed Monday through mid-May while the current shell and dirt parking lot surface is upgraded to concrete.

The popular boat ramp and picnic area was closed for six months in 2013 while the boat ramp, floating dock, fixed docks and seawalls were replaced and upgraded. When planning the improvements in 2012, project managers were sensitive to residents’ concerns over a paved lot and designed only two ADA-accessible paved spots and stormwater improvements.

However, since the initial improvements to the facility, the Parks and Natural Resources Department has received numerous comments from users of the ramp indicating a desire to have the parking lot paved.

Charlie Hunsicker, Director of the Parks and Natural Resources Department, says the shell parking lot installed in 2013 has been difficult to maintain and does not sufficiently address stormwater runoff. Resurfacing of the parking lot with concrete will solve these problems.

Hunsicker said the new surface will end the need for expensive grading and it will ensure that stormwater controls function properly to protect the water quality of Warner’s Bayou and the Manatee River.

“The compacted shell parking surface is constantly subjected to the formation of ruts, pits and potholes,” Hunsicker said. “The ruts and potholes can be quite severe, and they interfere with boaters’ utilization of the ramp and can cause damage to vehicles or trailers.”

The 2013 project was funded entirely through Manatee County's Boating Improvement Fund and the West Coast Inland Navigation District. The parking lot resurfacing project will also be covered entirely by WCIND and the boater fund. The awarded contract price for the paving project is $264,003.

During the closure, boaters may use alternatives such as Kingfish Boat Ramp at 752 Manatee Ave. W., Holmes Beach; the Palma Sola Causeway ramp at 9000 Manatee Ave. W.; or the Riverside Park Ramp at 833 Riverside Drive in Palmetto.