ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Launching a boat or taking it out has never been easier at the Launch on the ICW.
“From what it was before, everything is in line now, easy access in and out, easy loading,” says Kenneth Reed after loading his boat.
Three months ago when The Launch opened ahead of schedule it was beautiful just not very functional.
“I thought great, I’m going to use the new ramp,” said Capt. Ringo back in April. “It’s kind of a pain.”
The piers that split the six ramps were at an angle. Launching a boat was not that big a deal, but loading one was another story according to Reed.
“The angle of the docks and then the ramp, it was like at 45 degrees. Trying to back in but the ramp angled off so the boat was on like an edge.”
After a re-design of the docks and the go-ahead from the Corps of Engineers, the docks were removed and the pilings reset with the goal of having it ready to go by the Fourth of July weekend.
“They got a lot to do,” said Robert Spears after launching his pontoon boat.
It will take another couple of weeks to finish repairs, but engineers say the problem is fixed. All six launches are open giving boaters a quicker way to get on the water.
“It’s a straight shot down. Right before the toll road and a beautiful park,” says Reed.
Repairs were delayed because of supply chain issues, but now all the material is in. They are hoping all the work will be done in another two weeks.