Boaters and beachgoers take note: Joemma Beach is back open and with an updated boat ramp.
Work on the boat ramp temporarily closed the park for visitors. It was scheduled to reopen Sunday, but was actually able to reopen early, on Friday. Repairs began July 28.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of downtime for the park,” Washington State Parks spokeswoman Toni Droscher said.
Water trail campsites, day-use areas and picnic shelters were closed as well as beach access.
The boat ramp had exposed rebar and holes, making replacement an urgent need.
“It was a pertinent safety issue,” Droscher said.
In addition to being safer, the ramp also has a smaller footprint for the area.
“It’s decreased in size, which is ideal for the marine environment,” Droscher said.
The 4-by-12-foot concrete planking will have a smoother launch for boats.
The ramp replacement completes an $85,000 deferred maintenance project which included replacing the gangway ramp from pier to floats at the park. It was paid for out of capital bonds. Gangway work was completed last year.
While summer is a busy season for the park, engineers thought it best to close the park for the boat ramp repairs in order to take advantage of low tides as well as permit windows, Droscher said.
“We realize the timing for this project is not ideal, since it’s our busiest time of year... (but) I believe visitors will really appreciate the new boat launch for years to come,” park ranger Janet Shonk said in a press release.
Joemma Beach, a 1,222-acre marine camping park, has 3,000 feet of saltwater frontage. It is location in southeast Key Peninsula.
The property was became a state park in 1995 and was renamed Joemma Beach State Park after Joe and Emma Smith who lived on the premises from 1917 to 1932.
For more information visit www.parks.wa.gov/524/joemma-beach.