Construction is underway for an upgraded boat launch facility at Box Butte State Recreation Area.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission employees closed the old boat ramp and adjacent parking area today (Tuesday) and began diverting boaters to a new temporary “primitive” boat ramp just to the west. Demolition of the old ramp is expected to begin immediately and the area is closed for safety.
Steve Satra, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission program specialist, said the new handicapped-accessible launch will be a big improvement over the old one. The ramp will be expanded from one lane to two 16-foot-wide ones and will have a dock in the middle that will adjust to changing water levels. Also, a slightly steeper grade will mean boaters will not have to drive as far into the water to launch their boats. The parking area near the ramp also will undergo an expansion and other improvements.
The project is scheduled for completion in late November. Despite the closure of the launch area, anglers may access the fish cleaning station by parking along the paved road just to the north.
The Commission is improving the launch during a period of lowered water elevations for dam repairs at the lake. The boat launch project is being completed with Commission’s capital improvement fund and matching revenue from the U.S. Coast Guard.