The final construction elements to be completed in days



While construction has been substantially complete since Thanksgiving, the final steps in the project to renovate the boat ramp at Frank Pate Park in Port St. Joe will be taken in the coming days.

Contractor North Florida Construction will be back on site in the next few days to complete concrete work that will bring a close to the contract on the long-sought boat ramp project.

The project is the second of four projects announced more than four years ago as early phase Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) projects funded by fine dollars stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The county’s Veterans Memorial Park at Beacon Hill project was completed in mid-2017.

Two other projects, for a new boat ramp in Highland View and a new fishing pier at WindMark Beach are moving forward, but bids have yet to be let on either project.

The grant funding for the Frank Pate boat ramp totaled just over $806,000 with total construction and engineering costs, including some required stormwater work, coming in nearly $100,000 under the grant award.

City officials have requested from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is administering the grant, to use those leftover funds for additional items such as enhanced lighting, rubberizing step-downs and an ADA compliant sidewalk from one bulkhead, but have been unsuccessful in securing approval.

City Manager Jim Anderson said the excess dollars are likely to be used in another NRDA project.

The primary cost item in the grant funding was sheet piles and timber dockage used to extend dockage on the north and south sides of the boat ramp basin.

In addition, concrete in the existing bulkheads was pulled out and concrete re-poured and sidewalks added on either side of the basin.

“We have plenty more dockage and greater accessibility for boaters,” Anderson said.

The boat ramp is a key piece of infrastructure for the city.

The ramp is heavily used in warm weather, evidenced by the receipts from boat ramp fees the city implemented more than a year ago.