Weatherford Democrat

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May 31, 2013

Commissioners close Brazos River boat ramp

Low water levels lead to ramp’s closure, officials say

By JUDY SHERIDAN

Citing safety concerns associated with low water levels, Parker County commissioners voted Tuesday to temporarily close a boat ramp and dock on the Brazos River, just north of the Tin Top Bridge.

The motion authorized Precinct No. 3, headed by Commissioner Larry Walden, to post signs and take other actions to keep traffic from entering the launch area from Old Tin Top Road.

Currently, the low water levels have created a large invisible drop off at the end of the concrete ramp, Walden said. Boat trailers can drop off the ramp and are then unable to get back on.

“In its current condition the boat ramp is a hazard,” Walden told the court. “It needs some work to make it usable.”

Walden said it wasn’t feasible to pour more concrete, but talked about extending the ramp with oversized rock. He also reported that the dock, with three legs, was in poor condition.

Judge Mark Riley said the launch area, picked up by the county when the state abandoned it, has been an issue over the years.

The last time the county considered closing it, he said, Texas Parks & Wildlife agreed to put money into it.

“Is anybody trying to use it at all?” Riley asked.

“I see trailers in that parking lot, so there are still people launching from there,” County Attorney John Forrest said.

Walden said the ramp would remain closed until a solution to the problem is found, which could mean waiting until the water level returns to normal.

Forrest was also asked to check into the prior agreement with Texas Parks & Wildlife.

In other action commissioners:

• Approved the construction of the East Dry Creek Road Bridge in Precinct 2, using $52,500 in discretionary funds from the Transportation Bond. The only bidder was Harris Welding & Construction. 

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