Officials from Tennessee Valley Authority, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Cherokee County gathered with the public on Thursday, to dedicate the remodeled boat ramp downstream of TVA’s Hiwassee Dam. It is the only public boat ramp on the lake.
“This project is an example of a successful partnership across multiple agencies with one goal in mind – to improve access to our beautiful natural resources,” said Bucky Edmondson, director of TVA Natural Resources.
According to Mr. Edmondson, TVA invested about $200,000 to remodel the ramp.
Cherokee County Manager Randy Wiggins believes this is an excellent investment that will benefit everyone who enjoys the two TVA reservoirs in the county. “I think we are going to see a lot more use on the lake. I think we have already seen an increase in the use of the lake since the ramp has gone in.”
Construction on the ramp began earlier this year and was completed in time for the Memorial Day holiday. TVA was on a tight timeline due to the heavy rainfall earlier this spring, but NCWRC engineers and crews were available to quickly complete the work.
“Everything came together perfectly,” said Dean Barbee, NCWRC construction projects manager. “The old design was not easy for boaters because you had to back in at a 45 [degree angle]. We straightened the ramp so it’s easier to pull in and off the trailers, and keep the boats out of the current when TVA is generating.”
Chris Hopkins, who lives in Turtletown, Tn., was impressed when he saw the new design. “It’s a whole lot better. It’s straighter and you have a walk dock there to keep you out of the current when TVA’s generating. Everybody is going to like it a lot because it’s a lot safer than before.”
Mr. Edmondson was happy about the feedback. “Recreation on TVA reservoirs is worth about $12 billon annually to the Valley economy. I’m proud that TVA and our partners can make a difference in the community and have a positive impact for the local economy.”
While having fun on any TVA lands or waters, the public is invited to participate in the #TVAFun photo contest. “We want people to get out and have fun and share their experiences with us,” said Mr. Edmondson.
Simply upload photos to Instagam with the hashtag #TVAFun. Those who enter can win a GoPro this September.