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Lay Dam launch ramp to close

The Lay Dam public boat ramp on Lay Lake will close for renovations Monday, July 26 through Friday, July 30.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division will begin an effort to improve the ramp located at the end of County Road 607. Improvements will include extending the launching ramp and re-paving the parking area.

It will not be possible to launch boats at the site during the renovations. Those planning to fish must make arrangements to launch their boats elsewhere at other access areas around the lake.

Once the ramp is renovated, the parking lot will be re-paved and striped.

Fisheries Development Coordinator Damon Abernethy, who oversees all boating access projects, said the Lay Dam boat ramp parking lot asphalt is breaking up as a result of last winter. He said the freezing weather caused any water that seeped into the asphalt cracks to freeze, which caused the asphalt to break and buckle.

He said the fisheries division would saw out a 60-foot section of the parking lot area in front of the launching slab, where they will pour concrete. The rest of the parking lot will be re-paved.

Abernethy said the boat ramp may not be closed the entire allotted time if progress is made quicker than expected. He said they could finish one lane and reopen it as they continue to finish the second.

“We’re hoping to give it a lot more life this time,” Abernethy said. “That parking lot is in really bad shape. It has a lot of pot holes.”

Once they finish Lay Dam, the public boat launch at Higgins Ferry Park will be closed for two weeks in August while Alabama Power, who owns the property, repaves the launch and adjacent parking lot.

The launch will close Aug. 9, Higgins Ferry Park Ranger Frank Atkinson said, and will reopen Aug. 20, meaning boaters will not be able to use the launch for 11 days – but only for one weekend.

The fisheries division is doing similar work on several ramps throughout the state.

For more information, visit http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/reservoirs/lay/access/dam/ or call the fisheries section at (334) 242-3471.