East Bay Park boat landing in Georgetown gets facelift, boaters pleased with results

01/05/2014 3:57 PM

01/05/2014 3:58 PM

Georgetown residents and visitors alike now have a more easily accessible way into, and out of, the Winyah Bay and Sampit River.

The facelift includes expanded floating docks and piers complete with shaded gazebos, and several areas perfect for fishing. The project was designed to expand the size of the landing, said Jonathan Heald, public service director for Georgetown.

“It’s just a project the city has taken on to make the landing a larger, more accessible feature for the city of Georgetown,” Heald said.

One new feature of the landing is a dedicated kayak and canoe launch pad, which includes metal rollers and rails that allow the boat to slide in and out of the water without scraping asphalt. It also allows for the boater to remain dry while venturing out into the bay.

“It’s a nice upgrade, and it was time for it – some of the facilities were getting old,” said Vince Payne, who was fishing on the bay Sunday with his father, Gerald.

“Most of the safety features are better now,” Gerald Payne said. “Some of the rails were wobbly, but everything is nice now.”

The renovations cost about $750,000 and were provided by the city’s hospitality tax, as well as a Coastal Access Improvement Grant. McSweeney Engineers completed the dock renovations, while Seamon Whiteside and Associates provided landscaping.

Butch Thomas, who was preparing to unload his boat into the bay, said the upgrade, though pricey, was a good investment for the city.

“It’s pretty, and it’s probably used the most out of all the other boat landings in the area,” he said.

The boat ramp was expanded and repaired by Salmons Dredging, and was substantially completed in early December.

“It’s much better now; it looks beautiful,” boater Patty Rehm said. “There’s pretty landscaping now, and it’s still user-friendly, too.

“I think more people will use it now, maybe from other areas of the state.”

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