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Washington Baum Bridge Boating Access Area to be renovated

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Washington Baum Bridge Boating Access Area will soon be renovated to include a section of permeable parking to soak in the rain. The site is heavily used by recreational boaters and anglers, including residents and year-round Dare County visitors providing direct access to Roanoke Sound. It was constructed in 1992 and after years of heavy use, the asphalt parking lot is in need of maintenance.

The majority of the parking lot will be resurfaced while a targeted section will be replaced with permeable paving grids. Additional maintenance will include improvements to the internal traffic circulation to better meet the demands of increased traffic at the site. The federation was able to match WRC funds with grant funds from the Dare County Tourism Board to ensure an expanded permeable paving component of the project could be included in site improvement. The grant provides an additional 10% to the budget to allow for these improvements.

Once complete, the permeable sections will soak in the rain to reduce the volume of polluted runoff flowing to Roanoke Sound. Specifically, the project will repave 131,500 square feet of asphalt, including the parking area, driveways, turnarounds and approach lanes, including 6,903 square feet of parking area that will use the permeable paving grids.

“The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is constantly working and investing to improve, renovate and maintain our boating access areas to continue one of the top boating programs in the nation. Our partnership with the Dare County Tourism and the N.C. Coastal Federation on this project allowed us to do more with this parking renovation and add these stormwater improvements to meet our mission as a conservation agency. We look forward to boaters being able to enjoy the finished product soon,” said WRC engineering section chief Gary Gardner.

“The federation is pleased to continue our statewide partnership with the Commission to enhance state boat ramps by including additional environmentally friendly components,” said Erin Fleckenstein, regional manager and coastal scientist for the federation. “In particular, we are glad to see these improvements implemented at the popular Washington Baum Bridge boat ramp where they can provide incremental improvements to the sound. And we’d like to extend our gratitude to the Dare County Tourism Board for the grant funds to make this project a reality.”

The project is expected to conclude by mid-May. During this time, the boat ramp will be temporarily closed as the parking lot renovations are made.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation works with local governments, agencies, businesses and community members to embrace nature-based stormwater strategies to reduce flooding, improve water quality and help balance economic development with natural resource management. To learn more, https://www.nccoast.org/protect-the-coast/stormwater.

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