Construction to renovate Langsdorf Landing boat ramp on the Columbia River in the Vancouver Lake lowlands is under way.
Work started in mid-January on the parking lots, new rest room and mitigation aspects of the project, said Sandra Jonker, regional wildlife program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“The ramp itself will not be replaced until October of this year when in-water work can occur,” she said. “The launch will remain open during the construction phases, except for a couple of days in October when the new ramp and dock are installed. All work is to be completed by the end of 2014.”
In 2011, the state Recreation and Conservation Office announced a grant of $753,000 for Langsdorf Landing, also known as 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.
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 a few miles downstream of the ramp.
Launching is free for holders of state hunting or fishing licenses.