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When will the refurbished Dram Tree Park and boat ramp reopen?

Ken Little

The Castle Street boat ramp opening is set for Sept. 30, 2010, city of Wilmington spokeswoman Malissa Talbert said.

City officials said in 2009 the work would be completed by April. Talbert said some design changes and “construction setbacks” contributed to push back the completion date.

The boat ramp project has two components: the cleanup of a former industrial site and the improvement of the Dram Tree Park and boat launch.

“The city and Progress Energy are working together to clean up the site and rebuild the boat launch, including installing a new parking lot for increased parking and public accessibility,” Talbert said.

The project area includes the site of a former manufactured gas plant that is being cleaned up by Progress Energy, Talbert said. At the same time, “The city was looking to make repairs to the boat ramp on the adjacent site, so the two entities partnered together to do both projects simultaneously, thus minimizing disruptions to the area and closing the boat ramp only once,” she said.

Work on the boat ramp project began in January. Talbert said the cost to the city is about $622,000, but about $70,000 of that expense was absorbed by the N.C. Wildlife Commission, which is building the floating dock and kayak launch for the city.

The original boat ramp was built in 1986.

“This is a complicated project, both because of the difficulty of constructing something in the fast-moving current of the Cape Fear River and because of the amount of environment cleanup needed,” Talbert said. “The partnership between the city and Progress Energy, as well as the assistance from the state Wildlife Commission, has made this a win-win for everyone by improving both the environment and recreational opportunities in the city.”

Work at the site hasn’t yielded much of historical interest, according to Talbert.

“No historical artifacts found as far as we know,” she said.

User-contributed question by:
Kevin Bartlett

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