Where We are Now with the Hendricks Bridge Boating Facility Improvement Project
Managed by Lane County Parks, Hendricks Bridge on the McKenzie River is a favorite launch and retrieval point for many recreational drift boaters and local fishermen. This river is known as a prime spot for trout and steelhead fishing and fly fishing enthusiasts. With all of this great fishing, the time has come for a make over for the well-used and well-loved boating facility, known as “Hendricks Bridge.”
Background and Need
In 2008, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Lane County and Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) staff started hearing complaints and concerns from recreational boaters that the old asphalt boat ramp was difficult to use and needed to be replaced. The asphalt ramp is breaking apart and a large portion of the lower section (boat ramp toe) is missing leaving a dangerous drop off. The ramp runs perpendicular to the river with the current cutting across, making it challenging for launching and retrieving. Boaters also commented that the parking spaces were short and narrow and some additional boat trailer parking space would be appreciated. We also noticed that the restroom and parking area were not ADA compliant and would need to be included with the other boating improvements.
Gathering Facts and Perspectives
Lane County received an OSMB grant to complete an archeological survey and report to determine if there were areas on the property that needed to be avoided. This was completed November 2013.
OSMB staff completed land and water survey and developed some concepts that were discussed with Lane County and ODFW. The concepts were further refined and shared with boaters and anglers at the April 28, 2014 public meeting.
Comments from the public were both constructive and insightful, providing direction on how the boat ramp should be angled downstream with an area that boats could stage without blocking the ramp while they waited for tow vehicles. The downstream angle made launching and retrieving more manageable. Staff identified that a hydraulic analysis would need to be completed to evaluate the downstream boat ramp angle for scour and sedimentation as well as, the impact to the bridge pier.
Lane County received an OSMB grant to replace the restroom with an ADA accessible flush restroom and sidewalks. This was completed in March 2015. The County requested and received additional OSMB grant funds to complete the hydraulic analysis. This specialized analysis and report was completed in August 2015. The County has also received ODOT clearance and initiated County Planning Department review.
Based on the results from the hydraulic analysis the design was modified and presented to the public on February 11, 2016. Boaters and anglers agreed that the revised concept would significantly improve launching and retrieving from the boat ramp. OSMB and County staff explained that making the boating facility improvements would take time and the design would be reviewed and commented on by several regulatory agencies, which would add to the timeline. Boaters who attended this meeting agreed that these changes would be worth the wait.
What’s Happening Now and What’s Next
This project still has a long way to go before boat ramp construction can begin, but we want to keep you apprised with the developments as permits are approved and consultations are completed.
Below is a table identifying many of the permits and consultations that will be needed before construction can commence. If everything goes according to plan, boaters will have a new boat ramp with expanded parking within the next three years. OSMB staff will update this table each time a milestone has been reached:
|DSL and Corps Permit application submitted||May 2016|
|DSL Permit Issued||Early 2018|
|Corps Permit Issued||Winter 2018|
|DEQ 401 Water Quality Certification Permit Issued||Summer 2018|
|Endangered Species Consultation Completed||Summer 2018|
|County Riparian Setback Area Development Plan||Winter 2017|
|Tribal Consultation Completed||Fall 2018|
|State Historic Preservation Consultation Completed||Fall 2018|
|County applies for grants from OSMB and ODFW||January 2019|
|Construction Begins||Summer 2019|
A lot of time and planning have been invested into this project by Lane County, OSMB, ODFW and the boaters who advocated for this facility replacement. When it is completed, this will be a “new” facility that will be easier to use, safer for boaters launching or retrieving and less maintenance for the county, which ultimately saves money. Although it seems like a long time to make this all happen, every facility improvement is worth the effort.
About the Marine Board
The Marine Board is funded by registration fees and marine fuel taxes paid by recreational boaters. No general fund tax dollars are used to support the agency or its programs. Boater-paid fees go back to boaters in the form of law enforcement services (on-the-water enforcement, training and equipment) education/outreach materials and boating access facilities.