The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department has issued a public survey as they consider improvements to the North Douglas Boat Launch Ramp, seen here on Aug. 18, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department has issued a public survey as they consider improvements to the North Douglas Boat Launch Ramp, seen here on Aug. 18, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Docks and Harbors considering North Douglas launch ramp improvements

The department has issued a survey to see what the public wants.

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department launched a survey seeking input on the city’s launch ramps.

The input they receive may shape future plans for the North Douglas launch ramp, said Harbormaster Matt Creswell

“Right now it’s just a concept, an idea. We haven’t moved to do it,” Creswell said in a phone interview. “North Douglas is pretty heavily used. It’s hard to access from the highway. There’s a 90-degree turn at the top of the ramp. The float’s in bad shape.”

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The survey is intended to gauge Juneau residents’ use of the city’s six launch ramps, and what they’d like to see changed in the future. Gathering data and comments from the public is the first part of the process of a possible expansion, Creswell said, allowing CBJ Docks and Harbors to gauge interest and tailor plans to what the public wants with more transparency.

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department has issued a public survey as they consider improvements to the North Douglas Boat Launch Ramp to update the old and much-used facility. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department has issued a public survey as they consider improvements to the North Douglas Boat Launch Ramp to update the old and much-used facility. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“The new concept would allow it to be a year-round, all-tides launch ramp,” Creswell said. “That is by no means a final design. It’s just a possibility. I’d expect it to change many times before the final product.”

The old launch was built by the state, Creswell said, and has been there for “a while.” The proposal for a new launch ramp includes provisions like a sheltered launch ramp, larger parking area, a separate kayak launch zone, and improved ergonomics for the ramp itself and for highway access.

“We think people that would use North Douglas are using Statter Harbor because of the difficulty launching larger vessels,” Creswell said. “North Douglas is very convenient to the northern fishing grounds. So this would relieve some pressure on the Statter Harbor Launch Ramp.”

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department has issued a public survey as they consider improvements to the North Douglas Boat Launch Ramp, seen here on Aug. 18, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors department has issued a public survey as they consider improvements to the North Douglas Boat Launch Ramp, seen here on Aug. 18, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Docks and Harbors will take the data gathered in the survey and present it to their board, Creswell said. If the board decides that an expanded North Douglas launch area is in order, the department would began the process of reaching out for grants and funding to make it happen, a process that could be anywhere from three to seven years, Creswell said. Residents should not expect a new and improved launch facility to appear any time soon, Creswell said.

The survey, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T9858CL, will be up for about a month, Creswell said. Residents who are interested in sharing more thoughts can also email harbormaster@juneau.org.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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