Friday, December 18, 2015

Port of San Diego Awarded Improvements Grant

By Mark Edward Nero

The California Division of Boating and Waterways has awarded the Port of San Diego a $6.1 million grant for a major improvement project at the port’s Shelter Island Boat Launching Facility.

The award was announced at the most recent meeting of the Boating and Waterways Commission, held at the port’s administration building in November.

The estimated $9.5 million improvement project entails improving the Shelter Island launch ramp’s basin by enlarging the maneuvering area, replacing the worn-out launch ramp, increasing the lengths of the boarding floats, providing a concrete drop-off area for kayaks, and bringing the restroom to ADA standards. The port says it also anticipates receiving $3.35 million in project funding from the Wildlife Conservation Board.

The Shelter Island Boat Launching Facility was built in the mid-1950s and is used by recreational boaters from the general public. Small yachts, inboard and out-board motorboats, private fishing boats, fishing tournament boats and amphibious tour buses all compete for space at the launch ramp and its basin.

“It’s the most popular boat launch in San Diego Bay with nearly 50,000 boat launches a year,” Board of Port Commissioners Chair Dan Malcolm said. “However, this is a heavily congested facility that needs improvement.”

When completed, the new launch facility basin is expected to be 82 percent larger: the new entry/exit point would increase from 25 feet to 60 feet and new walkways and public viewing platforms will be added, as well as a separate area for hand-launched watercraft.

The Port of San Diego said it expects to solicit bids for the project in the fall of 2016, with construction taking place between December 2016 and December 2017.