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Hall County to start building boat ramp, ramp extensions soon
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Hall County officials say they soon will begin construction on the new Laurel Park boat ramp and build extensions for two others.

"Laurel Park we should be breaking ground about Nov. 1," Assistant County Administrator Phil Sutton said of the highly anticipated facility.

The project received a $400,000 grant from Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Go Fish Georgia initiative to bring fishing tournaments to the state. The multiramp Laurel Park facility is one of 10 approved sites statewide that will serve as stops along the state’s proposed bass fishing trail.

"It’s going to be a showcase here for Hall County," said Public Works Director Ken Rearden.

Rearden estimated the project would be completed by late February or early March.

Hall County also will begin extending two ramps that are closed.

The Balus Creek and Sardis Creek boat ramps have been approved for extension.

"We are in the process of getting pricing," Rearden said.

The money for the projects will come from a fund for parks and marinas, which is a collection of rental and leasing fees for Lake Lanier and surrounding parks.

Sutton said construction likely will begin for the Sardis Creek extension in December, when Lake Lanier is typically at its lowest levels.

The extension will go to the water’s edge, and public works staff will handle the construction.

The Balus Creek extension will be built using a coffer dam, meaning a device will part the water, allowing concrete to be poured below the waterline.

On Monday, Lake Lanier was at 1,053.3 feet above sea level, far below its full pool of 1,071.

The Balus Creek, Sardis Creek, Mountain View and Thompson Bridge boat ramps originally were considered for extension, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only approved two.

"After we did the topographic survey, the slopes were too steep in there. We’d have to put too much fill that would potentially wash out," Rearden said of the Mountain View and Thompson Bridge sights.

There are only three and a half boat ramps open out of 85 on Lake Lanier — Shoal Creek, Tidwell, Charleston and part of Clarks Bridge, said Chief Park Ranger Mark Williams of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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