Improvements near Centennial Park boat ramp to start later this month and conclude in May

Dredging of the boat basin also planned to start in early March

Improvements will begin soon at Centennial Park in Sarasota. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

Late this month, the City of Sarasota’s Public Works Department will begin making much needed improvements near the boat ramp at Centennial Park, City Manager Tom Barwin announced in his Feb. 10 newsletter.

The boat ramp will remain open throughout the project, except for two days and nights, when the area will be closed for the resurfacing of the parking lot, Barwin pointed out.

On Monday, Feb. 27, crews plan to start removing and replacing the decking of the docks, he continued. The work has been planned to allow two boat ramps to remain open and available to the public at all times, he added.

“The current decking is approximately 25 years old and is in disrepair,” Barwin wrote. It will be replaced with pressure-treated composite lumber, the same material that was used recently on a new Sixth Street canal bridge, he pointed out.

“We expect the project to be finished by early to mid-May,” he added.

“We’ve been in close contact with the Coast Guard Auxiliary that is nearby,” as well as area boaters, he noted, “and we will make sure the public is notified before the resurfacing [of the parking lot] begins.”

Another project will address the silting in the boat basin. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

Barwin also pointed out that, “over the years, the boat basin has filled in significantly with silt and needs to be cleaned out for the health of Sarasota Bay, and to maintain marine navigation.”

A dredging project “will start in early March, so it will be going on simultaneously with the decking replacement,” he stressed. “Both project managers are in close coordination to ensure these projects do not interfere with each other — and to keep public impact to a minimum,” he wrote. The boat ramps will remain open during the dredging, he noted, with the crews expected to work around boaters. “We understand this is a popular boat ramp and want to keep it open to the public while these improvements are underway,” he added.

As part of the dredging project, a large nutrient-separating baffle box for stormwater runoff will be installed in the stormwater system at the intersection of Florida Avenue and 10th Street, he continued. “With this in place, it’s expected the amount of silt, pollutants and debris accumulating at the boat basin and in Sarasota Bay will be dramatically reduced, helping to make the Bay healthier for people,” seagrasses and marine life, he noted.

“The dredging will continue through summer and is expected to wrap up in August,” he wrote.