June 22 eyed as end of Fireman's Beach project
By Keith Gushard
Meadville Tribune

Jun 7, 2018

CONNEAUT LAKE — The major improvement project at Conneaut Lake's Fireman's Beach should finish within about two weeks.

"We expect the current Fireman's Beach construction project to be fully completed by June 22 with a majority of beach operations ongoing simultaneously," Bill Eldridge said Wednesday. Eldridge, a member of Conneaut Lake Borough Council and chairman of Conneaut Lake Development Committee, serves as project manager.

Construction work remains ongoing, but the swimming beach is open to the public and the parking area is open to the public during operational hours of 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Construction on the boat launch continues and a number of smaller projects within the general construction area will finish up within the next couple of weeks, he said.

Terra Works Inc. of Clarion has been the general contractor on the project. It was awarded the contract in January by Conneaut Lake Borough Council on a low bid of $741,476.

Wet weather this spring played a part in delaying the construction, which was hoped to be completed by May 25, Eldridge said.

The new public boat launch at Fireman's Beach has been open intermittently to the public since May 24 and remains open to the public as construction operations allow, Eldridge said. Both the handicapped accessible docks and lakefront docks are available to those who rented them, Eldridge said.

Launch ramp construction has been done in stages with the latest phase — installation of dual launch docks both north and south — completed Wednesday.

Previously, the launch was relocated to the south side of the beach area to improve both boat launching and safety for the swimming area.
The launch pad was installed followed by the gravel entrance road base and then completion of the concrete approach apron at the launch, Eldridge said. The handicapped accessible compliant sidewalk almost is complete with only one small section remaining to be finished, Eldridge said.
The angle of descent on the launch ramp is 12 1/2 degrees within a national standard recommendation of 12 to 15 degrees, according to Eldridge. A bottom of ramp trench was dug to alleviate boat launching and recovery concerns expressed by two large boat owners, he said.

Demolition of the small pump house building at the beach will finish next week, Eldridge said. Its removal will allow more turning radius on the entrance roadway for those towing boats to the launch, Eldridge said.

Final paving of the entrance roadway should take place either June 15 or 22, depending on weather.

Remaining work to be completed includes areas of concrete sidewalks, areas of rain gardens, installation of light poles and fixtures, movement of electrical service panels, repair of the lake seawall, completion of underground drains, construction of a masonry entrance sign, installation of the entrance gate house, curbing, paving and landscaping.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com