Tony Berry, John hoy, President Rick Reid, Lyn Morgan and Rick Morgan at  the closed Sportsman Creek boat ramp.
Tony Berry, John hoy, President Rick Reid, Lyn Morgan and Rick Morgan at the closed Sportsman Creek boat ramp. Adam Hourigan

Repair work for boat access ramping up at last

WORK to repair the boat ramp damaged during the construction of the Sportsmans Creek bridge will begin today, and for Lawrence Fishing Club president Rick Reid, it's been a long time coming.

"It's been a bit of a battle,” he said.

"The ramp has been closed for 18 months to two years, and we were promised when the bridge was finished it would be reopened.”

Repair attempts were made after the damage was done, but they were not to the standard required. Now the RMS will upgrade the ramp.

Work will include reshaping and inserting foundation material, installing a new concrete ramp and minor roadwork, the RMS said.

"The new boat ramp will be around 4.5m wide and extend a further 4m into the river to improve access for boaters and fishers alike,” an RMS spokesperson said.

Mr Reid said he was looking forward, but was concerned that future work to demolish the old Sportsmans Creek Bridge next year may lead to further damage.

"The bridge contractor is coming back to demolish the old bridge next year, so we're hoping for there not to be a repeat set of circumstances - that's for sure,” he said.

In a previous letter to the Daily Examiner, Mr Reid said that there had been concept plans for a new pontoon and boat ramp area that were delayed because of the damage to the ramp.

"In February 2015, council was advised by media release it had received a grant for the funding of a pontoon at the ramp and in October advised the club it had decided to include a pontoon and associated works in with the bridge tender. It assured the club the grant for the pontoon would be available until the end of 2017 'if need be',” he wrote.

In June 2016, council supplied the club with concept plans for pontoon works and associated improvements to Flo Clark Park - the gangway, pontoon, pathway and fish cleaning facility to be completed under the Boating Now program, and in November requested input for the final treatment/arrangement of the boat ramp at Sportsmans Creek.

All of this was put on hold until the ramp was repaired.

Mr Reid said that Clarence Valley council was again seeking quotes for a proposed pontoon and a revamp of the area, but said he didn't expect any of that work to start until after the demolition of the bridge.

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