A much needed renovation was completed at the Sibley boat ramp located on the north end of Baldhill Dam / Lake Ashtabula, near Valley City, N.D., in late August.
When the ramp was constructed 30 plus years ago it met the needs of launching the smaller fishing boats of that time period, but it can no longer accommodate the larger boats of today, said Jeff Kapaun, park ranger.
At a time when budgets are already strained, representatives from The Barnes County (North Dakota) Wildlife Federation, a local club in Valley City, and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department met at the Sibley ramp to discuss the project and a potential cost share effort. The Game and Fish agreed to provide a grant to fund 75 percent of the project, to a maximum of $11,000 of the total estimated project cost of $16,500, and Barnes County Wildlife and the US Army Corps of Engineers split the remaining 25 percent.
Rich Plecity’s Excavating LLC, a local Valley City contractor, renovated the ramp according to Game and Fish boat ramp specifications by increasing the slope of the ramp to a minimum of 12 percent. The “pour and push” method was used for the new 15-foot x 50-foot concrete slab. This method consists of pouring the new slab on the ground above the existing ramp, allowing the slab to cure for a minimum of 7 days, and then pushing the new slab out into the water with heavy equipment. Once in place, rip rap was placed down both sides of the new ramp. The final phase of the project included adding crushed asphalt to blend the top of the new ramp into the existing parking lot.
The “newest addition” to the Baldhill Dam / Lake Ashtabula Project has been well received by its users, said Kapaun. Without the partnership of the Game and Fish and the Barnes County Wildlife Federation, the new boat ramp would just be another item on the “wish” list.