A plan from the city and the Tax-Increment Finance Authority will move the Blossom Heath boat ramp to ease congestion in the area.

A plan from the city and the Tax-Increment Finance Authority will move the Blossom Heath boat ramp to ease congestion in the area.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske


Boat ramp to be moved, expanded at Blossom Heath

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 8, 2021

 The move will help solve problems caused when vehicles drive to and from the pier or Beach House and when boaters are entering or leaving the water.

The move will help solve problems caused when vehicles drive to and from the pier or Beach House and when boaters are entering or leaving the water.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Continuing work to improve Blossom Heath Park, City Council voted to approve a project to expand and relocate the boat ramp.

The joint project between the city and the Tax-Increment Finance Authority, or TIFA, will help address congestion in the boat ramp area by moving it west, rehabilitating the remaining seawall west of the new ramp and constructing a new seawall east of the ramp to tie into the existing wall.

“We’re trying to eliminate that pinch point and eliminate conflicts when you have someone launching a boat and someone driving back to the Beach House,” said Assistant City Manager William Gambill at the March 1 City Council meeting. “The seawall is very old.”

The total cost of the project is $513,513, of which the TIFA has agreed to pay half.

Gambill said Anglin Civil had done other work in the city, on a seawall on Alexander Street, and has plenty of experience.

“They’ve done quite a bit of this work,” he said.

Councilwoman Candice Rusie said she was pleased to hear about the contractor’s experience because of the $126,000 difference between Anglin and the next lowest bidder.

“They’re way lower,” she said.

Gambill said many of the prices may have come in over ECT’s estimate of $505,000 because of the increasing price of steel, but that the engineering firm is comfortable with Anglin’s estimate.

“They can do a lot in-house,” he said. “Knowing their history in this work, we feel comfortable with it.”

The city hopes to have the work completed by the end of May.

“They’re given a 60-day window to get it completed,” explained City Manager Matthew Coppler. “If you have great weather, it can be done in less. We are in the worst time of year for these projects because it’s going to rain.”

He said he would make sure the contract was signed as soon as possible, however, so the work could proceed.

Mayor Kip Walby said he knows local boaters will be eager to use the ramp, so he hoped the work could be done as quickly as possible.

“We’ve got a lot of boating traffic,” he said, adding that over the winter, “if there wasn’t ice, they were fishing.

“We’re a boating community. This is, truthfully, long overdue. This is a big enhancement for our community and for our residents.”

Walby thanked TIFA for their support of the projects at Blossom Heath.

“TIFA has been instrumental down here in assisting with Blossom Heath, the bath house, the redoing of the boat wells here... Here again, they stepped up and provided half the cost,” he said. The continued improvements, he said, are “making this just a world-class facility.”