Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 28, 2007

A permanent fix for Burnside Island

Construction is expected to begin next week on a permanent extension to the boat-launching ramp at General Burnside Island State Park. The ramp was temporarily extended earlier this year.

John Drake, director of Facilities Management for the Kentucky Department of Parks, said a contract was let Friday to extend the existing 90-foot-wide ramp an additional 120 feet to the 674.5 level for pleasure boats. A 16-foot-wide lane will extend another 45 feet to the 670-foot level for houseboat launching.

Drake did not reveal the name of the contractor. He said negotiations are still in progress.

The ramp extension to about the 682 foot level will be poured concrete. Below that the extension will be done with panels of Armorflex, a product Drake described as “flexible concrete tied together with steel.”

The contract for the ramp extension has a May 19 completion date. Drake noted, however, that lake fluctuations due to rain can delay the work “ ... but we fully intend to have it done by Memorial Day.”

Boat launching will continue during the construction period. Pleasure boats may launch anytime and the contractor will make provisions for houseboats to launch on Mondays and Tuesdays, Drake said.

The level of Lake Cumberland is being kept much lower than normal because of seepage problems at Wolf Creek Dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in January that the lake would be kept at 680 feet above sea level, more than 40 feet below normal, throughout the remainder of this year. The lower water level reduces pressure on the dam that has been classified at “high risk” for failure.

The ramp extension at General Burnside Island State Park is one of two major ramp-extension projects being done by the Kentucky Department of Parks. The other project is at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park near Jamestown. The ramp at Lake Cumberland State Park will remain closed until the extension project is completed.

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