County will reconstruct another boat ramp in Gig Harbor area

A popular boat ramp in the Gig Harbor area will be closed and replaced this week — the fifth boat ramp the county has replaced in the past three years.

The boat launch at the end of Randall Drive Northwest in unincorporated Pierce County will be closed Monday through Friday.

County crews will replace the existing ramp with concrete panels purchased from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The new ramp is scheduled to open July 14.

The ramp near 89th Street Northwest is popular for those who fish and for other recreational boaters.

The old ramp is at least 40 years old and is made of poured concrete, said Kendal Willits, of Pierce County public works and utilities.

“It’s been patched and it’s in need of repair,” said Willits, a maintenance program manager.

The total cost for the project is about $70,000, of which $40,000 will pay for concrete panels. County crews will install eight panels – each 12 feet wide by 4 feet long – to construct the 33-foot-long boat ramp, Willits said. The total ramp width, including side blocks, is 16 feet.

The labor cost from the county’s budget to perform the work is $30,000.

The work will be carried out during the lowest tides of the year and will extend the current ramp site by eight feet.

“We want to build it as far out as we can,” Willits said.

He said the county has received some complaints about boat launches being closed for previous replacements. But because of the low tides during this project, he said, “it’s hard to launch their boat anyway.”

During the closure, boaters can use other county-owned launch sites: 37th Street Northwest on Wollochet Bay; 10th Street Northwest in the Point Fosdick area; A Street KPS in Home; and Hall Road in Vaughn.

All but the Point Fosdick area ramp were replaced in the past two years, as was the county ramp at 72nd Street KPS near Long Branch.