The new Chumuckla Springs Boat Ramp at 10501 Chumuckla Springs Boat Ramp Road will open to the public at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31. The new facility replaces the Sandy Landing Boat Ramp, which is privately owned but maintained by the county and open to the public through a license agreement. A ribbon cutting will be scheduled at a later date.

The project took about 10 months to complete and included more than nine acres of clearing and grubbing, half a mile of new paved road construction, more than half a mile of paved ditches, four stormwater retention ponds, more than 7,000 square yards of compacted rock parking and driving areas and extensive erosion controls. The project was completed entirely in-house with county engineering and public works staff.

In addition to being open year-round, the new location, often referred to as Mineral Springs by locals, will have several advantages over the Sandy Landing Boat Ramp, including more favorable currents for launching or loading small fishing boats and the ability to launch boats during low river tides. Features of the Chumuckla Springs Boat Ramp include a large gravel parking area to accommodate up to 30 trucks with trailers and 20 cars or pick-ups. The boat ramp allows for the launching of two boats side by side with appropriate loading and staging areas. Construction activities will continue into January to complete a few remaining work items. The completed project cost will be approximately $300,000, funded by boater registration funds, and includes the purchase of 19 acres.

The license agreement for the Sandy Landing Boat Ramp will be returned to Resource Management Service LLC in January, terminating public access and maintenance by the county.