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A better boat launch

June 02, 2010 | 08:22 AM
Geneva — It used to appear as if Schofield Road led directly into the southern waters of Lake Como for no good reason. This was the old municipal boat launch for the south shore of the lake.

"We had just the lake bed at this launch," Town Board Supervisor Larry Kulik said.

But Kulik said there were several chronic problems with the launch.

"We had people bottoming out with their boats, destroying their propellers," he said. "But these issues, at this point, will be gone."

Recently, workers completed improvements to the launch — a project town officials and engineers discussed for years. Kulik said at one point, the original cost estimate was about $240,000.

But Dale Broeckert, of engineering firm Foth and civil engineer for this project, said the contract amount was $54,400.

That's not what the town's paying, though. The state Department of Natural Resources is providing about 60 percent of the funding to the project.

Both Kulik and Broeckert said town officials made several modifications to the proposed launch improvements.

"Originally, it was going to be a two-lane launch and there was going to be a new pier and a lot of site improvements," Broeckert said. "But it was simplified to one 12-foot-wide lane launch."

Now, there are six parking stalls at the launch — two of which are for handicapped parking. According to Broeckert, Valia Excavating, Fort Atkinson, attempted to begin the project last year. "They were trying to construct this in early winter/late fall of last year," he said. "Then, we got these big storms and cold snap weather, so the project was delayed until the ice thawed and they could work on it again."

Valia workers started the project this spring. Three weeks later, it was finished.

"I'd say about 80 percent of the launch is precast concrete and the other 20 percent was cast in place, like when they pour a driveway at a house," Broeckert said. "(Valia) dredged about 100 feet from the shore and removed 250 cubic yards of material from the bottom of the lake, which changed the existing depth of about 4 to 8 feet."

He said the most challenging aspect of the project concered the area of the launch.

"I would say for the contractor, it was a tight site," Broeckert said. "There's not a lot of room to move equipment around there. A lot of times, these boat launches are built in secluded areas such as this."

However, no damage was reported.

"They (Valia) were very good," Broeckert said.

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