Highway 400 boat ramp construction underway
Published 4:52 pm Thursday, May 5, 2022
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Guided fishing tours along the Watauga River will soon have a new launch location as the Highway 400 boat ramp construction gets underway.
The ramp is located under the Bristol Bridge which crosses the Watauga River.
“The land where the boat ramp is located is owned by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which will be leasing the land to the City of Elizabethton for $1 a year,” said Chris Little, a driving force behind the completion of the ramp. “The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is providing the engineering services and construction of the ramp.”
A new concrete pad has been poured and as soon as the concrete is dried and cured, the pad will be pushed into the river and another pad will be poured to stay on land for fishermen to back into the river to load and unload boats.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has granted $45,000 for the paving of the parking lot which will be done by the Carter County Highway Department once the ramp area is ready for asphalt.
“There are a lot of paving businesses, but I would like to keep this right here at home,” Little said. “I want to make sure that the asphalt is done right so it will last for a long time.”
During the April 6 Highway Department Committee meeting, Little asked the county to grant permission for the highway department to do the work. The committee voted to send the request to the full commission for final approval with the stipulation added by Commissioner Gary Bailey that $3,000 be added to the amount should the price of asphalt increase before the project was completed.
The commission gave approval during the April Commission meeting.
The City of Elizabethton will provide signage, lighting and maintenance of the area. There will also be picnic tables and parking for 14 vehicles with boats and a small overflow area.