Warner’s Bayou Boat Ramp, 5900 Riverview Blvd., will be closed for four months beginning Jan. 7 as crews make extensive repairs and renovations to the aging boat launch.
The renovations will increase the lifespan and functionality of the facility and reduce yearly maintenance needs. The boat ramp, floating dock and fixed docks will be entirely replaced and upgraded. The renovations also include:
• The parking lot will not be paved, but it will receive new grassy storm water runoff treatment areas added around the perimeter of the existing parking lots. Also, two ADA accessible, paved vehicular parking spaces will be created: one on the north side of the park and one adjacent to kayak launches;
• No pavilions will be built;
• A new restroom building will be built on the north side of the ramp. The restrooms will have time-controlled doors, restricting after hours access;
• A new fish cleaning station will replace the old station in its current location, not attached to the restroom.
• There will be no vendors at the site.
The renovation plan is the result of three summer workshops with nearby residents and the boaters who use the boat ramp.
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.
Alan Lai Hipp, Manatee County Marine Resources Coordinator, said the boat ramp will close on Jan. 7, a Monday morning so that boaters may use the ramp during the weekend leading up to the closure. He urged boaters to use caution during the replacement of the docks and ramps throughout the project.
“Warner’s Bayou is a very popular boat launch, and we’d like boaters to know that the inconvenience of the closure is something that we are keenly aware of,” Lai Hipp said. “We hope local boaters will understand the need for these improvements and are patient as the renovations are performed.”
Funding for the $490,000 project is being split evenly between Manatee County's Boating Improvement fund and the West Coast Inland Navigation District. Duncan Dock and Seawall will perform the waterside improvements. A bid for the landside improvements has not yet been awarded.