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Launch ramp to be added to Louisville park

The ramp will be located below McAlpine Locks and Dam.

The ramp will be located below McAlpine Locks and Dam.

A public boat ramp and parking area will be added to one of Louisville’s largest parks, providing access to the Ohio River. The ramp will be located below McAlpine Locks and Dam and Falls of the Ohio.

Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Rick Storm last week joined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and other city officials to break ground for the project.

“This project shows the power of strong partnerships,” Storm said in a statement. “Expanding access to the river is a win for the community and all anglers, boaters and hunters of the Commonwealth.”

Each year, more than 2 million people fish, hunt, boat or participate in outdoor recreation in Kentucky, according to the statement. “Fishing, hunting and boating are vital to Kentucky’s adventure tourism industry,” Berry said. “Together with wildlife watching, they contribute more than $5.9 billion to Kentucky’s economy.”

Added Fischer: “The new boat ramp in Shawnee Park will provide a highly sought-after recreational amenity in this historic Olmsted Park. I look forward to seeing it used by anglers, canoers and those looking to simply get out on the water and have some fun. Our dive and rescue teams from the Louisville Fire and Louisville Metro Police departments also believe it will greatly enhance public safety with better access to the Ohio River.”

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife maintains more than 160 ramps statewide and will build the two-lane concrete ramp. Louisville Parks and Recreation has contracted with private firms on the design and construction of an access road and parking area to accommodate more than two dozen vehicles and boat trailers. An area adjacent to the ramp will be developed for bank-fishing access. The ramp is expected to be completed this fall.

Funding for the project comes from Sport Fish Restoration Program grants, which are derived from dedicated federal excise taxes on equipment used for fishing and boat fuels.

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