Campbell River’s long-awaited revamped public boat ramp at Big Rock is now open. Photo: City of Campbell River

VIDEO: Phase 1 of Big Rock Boat Ramp upgrades complete and ramp open

Long-awaited upgrades to the Big Rock Boat Ramp have been finished, and the popular public facility opened Wednesday with improved breakwaters, a refinished ramp, new floating dock system and additional parking.

“Improvements to Big Rock Boat Ramp have been needed for a very long time, and it is an exciting milestone to see this community amenity finally upgraded. We’re glad to see this goal of Council’s achieved in this term,” Mayor Andy Adams said in a press release. “With the opening, people can enjoy the use of the ramp for the early fall fishing season.”

The upgraded facility offers new features that make launching safer and more accessible. The refinished ramp has been widened and the angle reduced, and it’s been repaved with a high traction finish. New floating docks allow for year-round access and temporary moorage on both sides, while the higher breakwaters will provide better protection from wave action and prevent gravel build-up in the basin and access channel. Also, grading the south-side lot and adding a new parking lot exit increases parking by roughly 50 per cent.

“The temporary parking solution – in place while long-term planning for the parking lot area is considered – was accommodated within the existing project budget, thanks to the diligent work of contractor Uplands Excavating Ltd.,” said Dave Morris, the city’s general manager of assets and operations. “We’d like to thank everyone affected by disruption during this upgrade for their continued patience over the summer months – and the crews, whose hard work saw this project completed smoothly. The community can now enjoy years of safer and easier water access.”

Funded by the Community Works Fund Reserve (Federal Gas Tax funding) rather than local property taxation, phase one of the Big Rock Boat Ramp upgrade, the in-water upgrades, was originally scheduled for completion in October. Phase two will include upgrades to the parking lot and park area. Design and planning options for this next stage of work will be considered in 2019.

This project is part of the overall Waterfront Project 2018-2020, which includes three key upgrades to the city’s southern waterfront entrance to downtown.

For more information on the project, please visit www.campbellriver.ca/bigrockboatramp.