The new boat ramp is scheduled to be in place by spring of 2013.

Nakusp boat launch plans ramp up with meeting

The Nakusp boat launch is back on the table, and being actively discussed with Columbia Power Corporation (CPC).

The Nakusp boat launch is back on the table, and being actively discussed with Columbia Power Corporation (CPC).

Four CPC employees were on hand to give the presentation of the plans and field any questions about the proposed boat ramp on the evening of Oct. 3, 2012. Even with short notice, a dozen interested people from Nakusp, including Village staff, mayor and councillors, were in attendance.

CPC Director of Stakeholder Relations Audrey Repin started the presentation by putting the Nakusp ramp in context of three projects in the area that the company is taking on: completion of the road at Anderson Point, upgrading the ramp at Edgewood, and building the new boat launch here in Nakusp. Because CPC is taking over projects from BC Hydro, the Oct. 3 meeting was to discuss any issues that may arise from the plans, which would be taken back to Hydro for approval before the project gets the green light.

Bill Smith, Senior Project Manager, went through the plans in detail, explaining off the bat that they hadn’t changed since BC Hydro had been in charge of the project. The boat launch is to be 16 metres in width, made of concrete and slightly shorter than the current one. Smith outlined the construction that would likely take place, although he acknowledged it would depend on the approach of the contractor who was awarded the tender.

Project Manager Krista Watts showed underwater boulder clusters to be put in that would serve as habitat for fish, perhaps blue-listed species that serve as a food source for larger lake fish.

Once the presentation was done, Repin asked if there were derbies planned during the projected timeline for construction, which is estimated between March or late April and early May.

Smith said they would be putting either incentives or penalties in place to encourage contractors to come to completion quickly so the amount of time the ramp was out of service is as short as possible.

One of the factors that will affect construction are fluctuating water levels, something that CPC will discuss with BC Hydro, said Smith. Although long-term predictions are not as accurate as shorter-term, he is hoping that they can get a ballpark idea for when low water will be this year to pass along to contractors.

“We were handed a cheque and the plans and told to get it done,” Repin told the crowd, explaining that any changes or suggestions had to be approved by Hydro, and that CPC was there to collect this kind of information during the meeting.

Questions were asked about breakwaters, and why there are no plans to build any in Nakusp, even though the other projects in Anderson Point and Edgewood both have them as part of their construction proposals. It was one of many points that Repin said she would take back to Hydro for answers.

An adjustable floating ramp is to be part of the new boat launch, and CPC reps were asked who would be billed for the adjustments. Part of the Village’s agreement with Hydro includes the utility’s responsibility for maintenance, said mayor Hamling, and that would likely fall under that category.

The proposed ramp is also shorter than the current one, which means it will be steeper, it was pointed out by residents. Smith said that was true, but because the new ramp would have better traction, and because the new grade would still be only approximately 13.5 per cent, the increase would be manageable. Some discussion ensued about the relatively flat slope of the current launch, and how that creates a different set of difficulties for boaters.

Are there any reflectors or a ridge planned for the new ramp, someone asked. Not at this point, but it was noted that the increase in width should allow trucks and trailers to make a turn at the bottom, rather than do as much work in reverse.

The havoc that can be wreaked by driftwood was also broached, and Repin said that the issue would also be brought to Hydro.