ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - A popular boat launch in Jackson County is undergoing a transformation. It's an improvement project that will restore and protect the area and improve access for boaters.
The moment you turn off Washington Avenue and drive down the road that leads to the Fort Bayou Boat Ramp, you can see the sides of the road have collapsed. And the pieces of wood sticking out of the water are from the old bulkhead that's been rotting away over the years.
About a month ago, workers started replacing the wooden bulkhead with a stronger material. The bulkhead will stretch about 300-500 feet on both sides of the road. That will protect it from further erosion. They will also fill-in the holes behind the bulkhead with dirt, which will create more parking spaces for boaters.
"The road has areas where rocks have been put there, rip rap, things to make it stop washing out and eroding, and ultimately the real fix is putting this bulk heading in. You can see we're putting in this Vinyl Sheet Pile along the whole road way all the way to the bridge and that's going to allow for two things. It's going to shore the road up and make it safer and protect our infrastructure, and it's also going to create more parking and more accessibility at this boat launch that's already very utilized," said Jackson County Supervisor Troy Ross.
"It's going to make things a lot better out here and it's going to give us a boat launch we can all look at and be proud of," he added.
The project will cost about $700,000. Most of the money comes from Tidelands Funds. The work should wrap-up sometime this fall.