ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS After several weeks of being closed and inoperable, the boat ramp at the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Harbor is now open and in optimum condition. Information has been posted on borough sign on Route 36 as well as at the Harbor, and on local media. The ramp opening has also been announced on the Swiftreach911 system.
Harbormaster Lou Fligor reported the work originally stared with a repair in the middle of the ramp but found as the area was dewatered that there were many concrete interlocking blocks that had shifted and were actually in the silt under water. He explained that with the area visible, engineers were able to see there was much greater damage than anticipated.
“The ramp is now 50% new,” Fligor continued. “ Fifteen-foot steel sheeting was permanently installed at the base of the ramp with a 7” concrete curb to keep the upper interlocking blocks in place.
We had been monitoring the problem on the ramp for over a year and observed more shifting of the interlocking blocks throughout the year. After we had three boat trailers recently get stuck on the ramp at low tide, we realized we had to take immediate action. At that point we blocked off the center of the ramp so no one would damage their equipment. We sent the project details out twice and the lowest of responses was $450,000 which required a delay due to an appropriations ordinance needed to ensure the funds were available”.
Borough Administrator Adam Hubeny has expressed thanks to all ramp users who have patiently be adapting to the closure and explained all that has been completed to ensure its safe use.
“WOW!” said Hubeny, “if we knew then what we know now, this repair would have been made decades ago,” he said, in explaining what happened to necessitate the ramp closure so early in the season. “The ramp repair proceeded well even though we hit a few snags with unknown conditions and equipment failures,” he said. The administrator explained that CM Ashland found a twelve-foot hole under the ramp (center)under the water, as well as many trailer parts. “The unknown is always the scariest in these conditions but we continued to proceed. Although the 10 day closure we anticipated, concrete for the new ramp was poured earlier this week and the temporary sheeting has be removed, enabling us to be up and running today.”
Fligor added that boatowners whose boats were stored in the harbor and unable to launch because of the closure, have been given alternate sites along with an extended time both before and after the regular season. “For the most part, “ he added, “many ramp users have an understanding and appreciate the work that is being done. We know this would have been a perfect winter job but we couldn’t wait any longer.”
Both Hubeny and Fligor stressed their thanks “to our tenants and neighbors for their patience and understanding along with Richard White of the Municipal Harbor and the Harbor Engineer, Robert Bucco of Najarian Associates for their direction and oversight. Everyone working together has been able to enable us to get this accomplished in a minimal time and get back to letting our customers enjoy the summer.”