Work Continues on Fort Bayou Boat Ramp
There’s been a lot of activity at the Fort Bayou boat launch, but for once, it’s not busy with boat trailers and fishermen. There are sounds of traffic above the Fort Bayou Bridge and sounds of progress below as day two of renovations got underway at the Fort Bayou boat ramp in Ocean Springs. It’s not the first major change there.
The road once bridged the distance between St. Martin and Ocean Springs. Troy Ross, Jackson County Supervisor for District 4, says, "In the 80s, they built the big bridge. When that happened, this became the boat launch and the fishing spot. This road has been here a long time and we’re going to see some improvements we’ve been needing to have made."
The bulkhead that’s being built will serve as a barrier against Mother Nature and erosion and will better protect the improved roadway. Parking space for boat trailers and vehicles will double once the work is done. County leaders tell News 25 it’s a good investment for everyone. Ross also says, "Public access is one of the things that we’ve learned on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that is very important. People like to fish. It boosts morale. It makes people proud to be from here. It gives something to do."
While repairs are expected to take about a month, there are plenty of ramps nearby where you can launch your boat or wet a line. Ross also says, "We’ve got a boat launch on Brittany, which is right off Lemoyne Boulevard in St. Martin and then we’ve also got the boat launch at the national park and at the harbor in Ocean Springs, and we’ve got one at Gulf Coast Research Lab they’re able to use too."
The $700,000 project is basically paid for by Tidelands money, but the county is shelling out about $150,000. That’s 15% of required matching funds for the project, a project Supervisor Ross believes was well worth the wait. Ross closes, "That’s part of the reason people live here. They love to fish. They love to eat. It’s a win win. I’m sure the restaurants close to this boat launch are probably going to enjoy it too."
The road to the Fort Bayou boat launch will be closed for about another week. The entire project is expected to wrap up in about 30 days.