Despite drizzling rain, Duluth officials and the contractor hired by the city turned out to turn the earth for a Canoe Launch on the Chattahoochee River at Rogers Bridge Park in Duluth early Monday (Feb. 11).
Duluth Parks & Recreation Director Kathy Marelle officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony. Wielding a gold shovel bearing plaques for past groundbreakings, she was accompanied by members of the Parks and Recreation Department staff. Other city officials in attendance included new Planning Director James Riker, Economic Development Manager Chris McGahee, and Public Works Director Audrey Turner.
The new launch will make it easier for canoers, rafters and tubers to access the river.
The Duluth City Council awarded a contract to construct a Canoe Launch at the park in an amount not to exceed $250,000 to Reeves Contracting Co. in Sugar Hill on Jan. 14. The contract requires the launch to be completed within 90 days. Expected completion is in May, Marelle said.
Reeves Contracting was represented by Superintendent Phillip Thomas and Project Manager Brian Trotter. Trotter’s young son, Andrew, wearing a hard hat and a raincoat, brought his own miniature shovel to participate in the groundbreaking.
Designed by Atlanta-based HDR Engineering, the concrete launch includes a walk-down canoe ramp, a step-down boardwalk, a viewing area, and natural plantings. It replaces a dirt ramp.
The launch construction is being paid for with Park SPLOST funds.