Eagle plans new boat ramp at Chambers Park | VailDaily.com

Eagle plans new boat ramp at Chambers Park

Enterprise staff report

Eagle's new boat ramp improvements, funded partly by a $41,000 Greater Outdoors Colorado grant, will be built along the Eagle River at Chambers Park.

Good news for local rafters and kayakers — this summer Eagle plans to built a new boat ramp at Chambers Park.

The town of Eagle has approved construction of the new ramp on the Eagle River, to be located directly behind the Eagle Regional Visitor Information Center at Chambers Park. The objective of the project is to rectify what is currently a potentially dangerous situation, which has boaters frequently missing and existing crude take-out in the area. This can result in forcing inexperienced boaters to unintentionally navigate the Class 4 Rodeo rapids near the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

The project has received strong support from Vail Mountain Rescue and numerous commercial boating companies who are well aware of the existing safety hazards. The project will create an eddy in front of the new boat ramp, which will allow boaters an easier approach to the ramp and exit from the river. The ramp will be built of concrete, which will enable easier loading and unloading of boats onto trailers. For experienced kayakers and rafters who purposely wish to run Rodeo rapids, the ramp will serve as a put-in. It could also serve as a put-in for a future whitewater park downstream.

"Eagle is establishing itself as a recreation and tourism destination in the state of Colorado, and our commitment to safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities for our residents and visitors is a huge priority," said Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick. "This new boat ramp will improve safety and access to one of our greatest amenities, the Eagle River, for rafters, kayakers and other river enthusiasts."

The contractor for the project is S2O Design and Engineering with offices in Lyons and Glenwood Springs. Scott Shipley, a former Olympic kayaker, is the firm's president and has built whitewater parks around the country. Dan Woolley is S2O's project manager for the Eagle Information Center boat ramp project. He has extensive experience modeling river hydraulics and has built numerous boat ramps along the Colorado River and throughout the state.

S2O has currently finished the design drawings to the 60 percent design level. They are now working with the Army Corps of Engineers on the permitting process, which can take several weeks. Once the project's permit is approved, the remainder of the design work will be completed. The construction work will then be sent out to bid. Construction should be completed in August 2014.

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The town's contract with S2O for design, engineering, and project management services is $14,187. Construction costs are estimated at a maximum of $67,000. The Town has budgeted $90,000 for this project. The Town has also applied for a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant in the amount of $41,000 to help offset the costs for this project. GOCO will be announcing its grant application awards in June.