The launch ramp at Petoskey’s city marina is unavailable for boaters as crews tend to a dredging project in the recreational harbor. City parks and recreation director Al Hansen said the ramp was closed down Friday for the two- to three-week project.
“We’re trying to do it as rapidly and quickly as possible,” he added.
The dredging work, which costs about $71,000 and is being paid for using marina reserve funds, was arranged in response to a decrease in water levels along with a buildup of sediment that makes navigation difficult in portions of the harbor. R.B. Lyons of Charlevoix is handling the dredging, with support from trucking firm Poquette Leasing of Petoskey. During the project, the launch ramp is needed for storage and truck loading of spoils removed from the harbor bottom, Hansen said. The slope of the ramp helps in draining water from the spoils, and Hansen said using that location also helps avoid encroaching on marina parking areas. City officials had hoped to have the dredging work taken care of earlier in the spring, but Hansen noted that they encountered delays in obtaining state permits needed for the work. The parks and recreation director added that contractors are aware of the need to move quickly on the project. Given the pace with which the project has moved in its first several days, Hansen said it may take less than three weeks to wrap up.
“We want to get it done before our main season hits us in late June,” he noted.
Slips remain available during the project for boaters traveling to and from the marina by water, although Hansen said some boaters are having to be temporarily relocated from one portion of the harbor to another. Spoils removed from the harbor bottom will be taken to an Onaway-area landfill for disposal, Hansen said.