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St. Paul Harbor boat launch ramp to be fully renovated with funds from Dept. of Fish & Game and City of Kodiak

Kodiak’s City Council and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game are partnering to repair the St. Paul Harbor Boat Launch Ramp in downtown Kodiak. The council formally authorized the cooperative agreement last week during its regular meeting on Thursday, March 28.

According to city documents, the City of Kodiak and Fish & Game have been working together since 2021 to secure funding for the ramp renovation. The St. Paul Boat Harbor boat launch is one of the main launches in town for sport anglers and recreational boaters.

City Manager Mike Tvenge said the project will be split into two phases, one for design and permitting, while the second involves construction.

“The discussion we’ve had with Fish & Game is for them to maintain oversight of the construction phase, as well, should the City [of Kodiak] agree to the design matching funding of 25% of the anticipated construction costs,” he said.

That construction cost is currently estimated to be anywhere from $775,000 to $1.5 million according to Tvenge.

Although, Tvenge said those numbers aren’t concrete yet as the design phase is still underway. But project documents indicate the existing concrete boat launch ramp lane and associated boarding float or ramp will need to be fully replaced.

On Thursday, March 28, the council unanimously approved the agreement between the city and Fish & Game’s Division of Sport Fish, which lasts for 20 years. That’s how long the renovation project’s life expectancy is. This agreement does not require the city to approve the launch ramp design, but will require the municipality to match a quarter of the funding to cover construction costs.

According to city documents, the city’s Ports & Harbors Department already spent over $100,000 in 2022 to fund emergency repairs on the bottom of the launch ramp.
Part of the issue is the ramp was built too shallow and deteriorates at an accelerated rate when boaters load their vessels during low tide. This causes the riprap, or extra rock material used as fill to prevent erosion, to wash away.

Harbormaster Dave Johnson says the bottom of the ramp has been worn down by years of tides and power loading, which occurs when boat drivers use a lot of throttle and wash to load their boats onto a trailer parked on the ramp.

Johnson says he hopes the new ramp design will be deeper and include an increased pitch for boats loading and unloading from St. Paul Harbor boat launch.

Fish and Game began soliciting proposals for the ramp renovations last month on March 14.Bids for the engineering services are due on April 4.

Kodiak’s Harbormaster Dave Johnson stands on the St. Paul Harbor boat launch ramp in downtown Kodiak. (Davis Hovey/KMXT)
Kodiak’s Harbormaster Dave Johnson stands on the St. Paul Harbor boat launch ramp in downtown Kodiak. (Davis Hovey/KMXT)