PELICAN boat ramp will officially reopen on Saturday, much to the delight of Lake Macquarie boaters who have not been able to use the ramp since it was damaged in storms in 2015.
Lake Macquarie council was putting the final touches on the $1.2 million project on Friday, which has been funded through the state government’s Boating Now program that aims to improve safety and accessibility.
The council’s manager of asset management, Helen Plummer, said the ramp is a vast improvement on the site's previous facilities. .
“With its million dollar makeover, the boat ramp is now a safer and more accessible infrastructure asset, which will benefit both the local residents and visitors who utilise our popular waterways,” she said.
“In the coming weeks, a new smart LED sign will be installed to provide real-time data on temperature, current velocity, tide and the number of boats launched, as well as the ability to display safety messages.”
Charlestown's Jonathon Smith said he was looking forward to using the ramp for his weekly fishing trips.
"It's a really convenient location here," he said. "I think it will get a lot of use. There's nice parking facilities and good amenities."
Mr Smith, 63, who has been fishing on Lake Macquarie for about four decades, predicted boaters would flock to the new ramp.
"It couldn't handle the larger boats previously, which it will be able to now," he said.
"Six-metre plus, previously it was probably three to five metre [boats].
"When the winds are the right direction, and the family can come down and have a barbecue, it's excellent."
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser will open the ramp at a celebration breakfast barbecue from 9-11am.
“It is evident from our consultation with the community how important this asset is to our local boaties and we appreciate the patience of users throughout construction,” Cr Fraser said.
“This ramp allows the community to continue to use this popular facility while Council continues to investigate options to address the problem of erosion in the area and plan for the future.
“Erosion in this part of the Lake is a long-term problem and council already has work under way to look at how we can manage the issues associated with channel evolution.”