Recently completed courtesy pier serves boaters, anglers

Published 9:00pm Sunday, October 6, 2013

Better late than never, as the old saying runs.

That’s the case for the new courtesy pier that was completed in July adjacent to the west bank boat ramp on the Coosa River in downtown Wetumpka. The ramp itself opened in early May 2011.

“We always planned to put in a pier,” said Damon Abernathy fisheries development coordinator for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.

“But about the time it was finished we had tornadoes that damaged six of our boat ramps and we were kept busy repairing those for two years. This year we got back to it.”

The pier extends about 30 feet from the bank, then runs parallel to shore for another 100 feet.

“It gives people a place to tie up their boats while they’re moving their trailers on and off the ramp,” said Abernathy. “We know people are also using it to fish, but its real purpose is for the boaters.”

The material used in the pier’s construction is something new for an ADCNR project. The floor of the pier is made of ThruFlow composite polymer decking.

“It’s designed to deal with storm surges at the beach,” said Abernathy. “We wanted to try it in Wetumpka to see how it holds up since we know the water level here rises and falls often.”

The ThruFlow material is perforated to make it less susceptible to rising and falling pressures and surges. It is grated to improve traction and reduce slipping, and also allows sunlight through to promote the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation.

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