Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 11, 2007

Dock extensions set for this week

Somerset — Contractors are expected to begin work on extending 10 landlocked boat ramps — including Waitsboro and Lee’s Ford in Pulaski County— as soon as the water level on Lake Cumberland drops to 680 feet above sea level, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official said Friday.

Bernie Kearns, facilities manager for Lake Cumberland, said work had to be put on hold for a while because of recent heavy rains. The lake level was at 685.86 feet as of midnight Thursday.

“Hopefully, we will get started next week,” Kearns said at a meeting with small business contractors.

According to Kearns, contracts have been awarded to extend boat ramps at Alligator No. 2, Conley Bottom, Fall Creek, Jamestown Marina, Waitsboro, Lee’s Ford and Grider Hill. The Corps is in the process of getting contracts in place to extend ramps at three other facilities, which include Beaver Creek Marina, Cumberland Point and possibly Alligator No. 1. The ramp at Halcomb’s Landing will be extended by the construction division in conjunction with a $309 million rehabilitation project at Wolf Creek Dam.

The work does not include county or state-maintained boat ramps. “The Corps does not have the authority to extend those ramps, but the county and state are in the process of getting contracts in place to do the work,” Kearns said.

Representatives from County Judge-executive Barty Bullock’s office were in Frankfort last week to try to get funds to extend county-maintained boat ramps. County officials have made a request to the Governor’s Office of Local Government (GOLD) for funding to extend 11 of 23 boat ramps maintained by the county. Several of the ramps are so far out of the water that it is not feasible to construct extensions.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced plans to lower the lake’s water level to 680 feet — 43 feet below the tree line — at least through the summer months to relieve pressure on the dam.

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