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Marina makes boat ramp come to the water
Diver Nelson Brown of Portadam checks for seepage Thursday afternoon at Aqualand Marina where the South Hall marina is extending a boat ramp.

FLOWERY BRANCH — While some scramble to plant drought-tolerant landscapes, Aqualand Marina is building a drought-tolerant boat ramp.

There are only a few boat ramps that still provide access to shrunken Lake Lanier, and Aqualand is currently constructing a longer boat ramp, allowing its customers to access Lake Lanier even in times of extreme drought.

Right now, Portadam, a construction company, is installing a dam 55 feet into Lake Lanier and 70 feet across the lake that will hold Lake Lanier back while Viking Concrete pours in the extension to the marina’s boat ramp.

The two companies recently completed an extension of the Charleston Park boat ramp on Lake Lanier in Forsyth County. Using a differnet method, volunteers have begun a project to extend the ramp at Clarks Bridge Park.

Portadam Chief Executive Officer, Bob Gatta, said professional divers are currently installing the Portadam cofferdam, which will create dry conditions for the concrete company to construct the ramp.

Gatta says the Portadam technology is friendlier to the lake’s environment and cheaper to install than other methods of creating cofferdams.

"Everything that goes in the water comes out of the water, and there’s no penetration of the lake bed," he said.

Gatta says the Portadam cofferdam should be completely installed by the end of today. Installation of the boat ramp can begin as soon as the area is dry, he said.

The manager of Aqualand Marina could not be reached for comment, but a person who answered the phone Thursday said the boat ramp should be completed by the end of next week.

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