Langsdorf boat ramp rebuild delayed again

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

Published:

 

Construction to renovate Langsdorf Landing boat ramp on the Columbia River in the Vancouver Lake lowlands is getting postponed for another year.

Sandra Jonker, regional wildlife program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the window to do work in the water ends Oct 31.

“WDFW was unable to obtain our permits in time for this year so it looks like the in-water work will need to be postponed until next fall,’’ Jonker said.

In 2011, the state Recreation and Conservation Office announced a grant of $753,000 for Langsdorf Landing, also known at the Caterpillar Island or Shillapoo ramp.

The single-lane, concrete plank ramp is off Lower River Road. It has an adjacent gravel parking lot, plus an overflow lot across Lower River Road.

A second overflow lot will be added immediately across the road from Langsdorf Landing. That lot will be gravel with enough room for 18 truck-trailers or 36 individual automobiles.

While the launching ramp will remain a single lane, it will be wider. The ramp also will be 128 feet of concrete, armored on both sides and at the end.

The existing ramp has a large hole at the end of the concrete planks caused by boaters powering on to their trailers.

Langsdorf also will get a boarding float and handicap-accessible facilities.

Jonker said the permit application remains in process and once the agency has its permits the work on the parking lot expansion, walkways and handicap-accessible loading platform can begin, weather permitting.

“The ramp, float, and mitigation logs will wait until the next in-water window, July to October 2014,’’ she said. “As we are able given the government shutdown for certain agencies, we will be contacting the permitting agencies to obtain a firm construction schedule as soon as we can.’’

Some of the better spring chinook fishing in the metropolitan area occurs on the west side of Caterpillar Island.

Good fall chinook fishing can be found on the Washington side a few miles downstream of the ramp.

Launching at the ramp also is free for holders of state hunting or fishing licenses.

“We really need a suitable boat ramp in the central part of Clark County,’’ said Larry Snyder, president of the Vancouver Wildlife League and a user of the Langsdorf ramp during the spring.

Snyder noted that the ramps at Marine Park in Vancouver or at Ridgefield Marina are a long run for a small boat on a river as large and potentially windy as the Columbia.

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