The Sunbury boat ramp is expected to reopen soon.
It’s been a month since Hurricane Irma pummeled the coastal areas of Liberty County, destroying the public dock and the old Sunbury Lodge.
Anxious boat owners have wondered why the boat ramp has remained closed for so long.
County Administrator Joey Brown said it is a safety issue that will be resolved, possibly by the week’s end.
Brown said the county owns the property where the ramp is located. The county leases the land to the Department of Natural Resources.
“They own the improvements that are on there,” Brown said.
DNR needed to have damage assessments done in order to claim repair reimbursements through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Those assessments are nearly complete.
Irma ripped apart the building that sat next to the ramp, known as the Sunbury Lodge. The lodge and the public dock were completely demolished.
“Most of that debris ended up on the land,” Brown said.
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“Some of that debris, including nails and other objects, ended up in the edge of the river and on the boat ramp. So it has been closed for liability and safety reasons.”
Brown said DNR has already contacted a contractor who is supposed to begin repairing the dock.
Brown added that the county has a crew scheduled to clean the ramp during Wednesday morning’s low tide, weather permitting.
He said the crew will clean and remove objects that may be liabilities or hazards. Brown added that DNR is also trying to get a sonar boat out Wednesday to search for debris off of the ramp and into the river’s edge.
“To make sure that is all clear,” he said.
Brown said if the sonar results are good and the cleanup stays on schedule the ramp could open this week.
“But again we wanted to make sure that first, we had assessments done and second and most importantly that there were no hazards,” Brown said. “We want to make sure things are safe for the public.”