News and Updates
November 4, 2021
Baldwin County Boat Launch in Orange Beach shoots for early 2022 opening
Orange Beach, AL – (OBA) – Boats could be launching from the Baldwin County ramp in Orange Beach in early 2021 if crews are able to stay on track with the finishing touches, County Engineer Joey Nunnally said. In May 2021 projections were for a Memorial Day opening in 2022.
“Right now, we are projecting we should be ready for opening – of course it’s all-weather dependent and we don’t hit a snag or have another global pandemic or supply chain issues – in early February,” Nunnally said. “It’s a 120-day contract and we’re about 72 days into it. We’re about halfway done from a budgetary standpoint so all of that’s kind of matching up pretty good.”
Most of the infrastructure for the launch itself is in place and other site work continues on many phases of the project.
“The ramps are completely poured, a lot of the piling is in and the decking is going to start being placed this week,” Nunnally said. “There’s a lot of pilings around the basin where there’s a little walkway around the basin. When we poured the ramps, we built a cofferdam to kind of keep all the water and stuff off it. They’re going to be pulling all that out soon probably in the next few days.”
Dredging is an ongoing project but it’s close to wrapping up as well.
“They pump all the water and sand mixture up and they built a berm system to let all the sand settle out and let the water come back,” Nunnally said. “When we get through dredging the basin all of that sand that’s been dredged out and all the berm system has to be leveled back out.”
All the sand from the dredging will then be used for other projects across the 47-acre site on the Intracoastal Waterway giving more access to fishing and boating for south Baldwin County.
“When we get through dredging the basin all of that sand that’s been dredged out and all the berm system has to be leveled back out,” Nunnally said. “We’re going to use some of that to make a pad for the bathrooms and the grand pavilion. All of that will be used to grade that site work out.”
The parking lot is almost to the point of paving, Nunnally said, and he said utilities work is going to be under way soon.
“All of the lighting and electrical work should be starting soon,” he said. “A lot of the parking lot has already been graded but we obviously have to come in and pave it. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
The finished product will have more than 1,700 feet of water frontage and six boat launches. Other amenities include:
200 lighted boat and trailer parking spaces
84 lighted passenger car spaces
Six covered pavilions with picnic table seating
20-foot-by-30-foot grand pavilion
More than a half mile of sidewalks and boardwalks throughout the launch and pavilion areas
Future amenities include walking trails, wooden bridges and fishing piers
The launch is being funded by Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act money or royalties paid to Gulf states for oil and gas leases off their shores. The total cost is about $17 million with the state funding $10.1 from GOMESA and the county about $6.9 million.
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