LINCOLN, Neb. – The postponed boat-launch facility construction at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area’s Main Landing is scheduled to begin this fall.
Reservoir water levels are two vertical feet lower this spring to facilitate the boat ramp and rock breakwater construction to begin later this year. When the project begins, breakwater construction will continue into late September as the reservoir refills. The public should be aware of construction activity and stay clear of the work area and construction equipment entering the Main Landing and Willow Cove Campground areas.
The project will include a new concrete boat ramp, which will be relocated and built to provide improved boat launching and angler access for a longer duration during annual reservoir drawdowns. The current ramp was built in the 1960s and has often been out of service by early July each year.
In addition, a new breakwater will be built on the natural point near the Willow Cove Campground. This rock breakwater will protect the boat ramp from southwest winds and slow the deposition of sand in Willow Cove. This new breakwater will also provide bank angler fishing access.
In conjunction with this reservoir drawdown, Bureau of Reclamation operation and maintenance crews will be making repairs in the stilling basin near the river outlet. Equipment will be entering that area off Nebraska Highway 97.
This project, which has been postponed twice because of higher-than-expected water levels, is a cooperative effort of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Ainsworth Irrigation District and the Bureau of Reclamation. It will be paid for by Game and Parks’ Aquatic Habitat-Angler Access Program, Capital Development Maintenance Funds and matching U.S. Coast Guard boating safety funds.
Contact Game and Parks’ Steve Satra at 402-471-5446 for more information.