Ground Broken On The Launch At Intercoastal Waterway

Ground Broken On The Launch At Intercoastal Waterway
The Launch at ICW | Image by John Sharp via al.com

AL.com reports that, as Alabama Gulf Coast tourism records continue to break, a long-running problem of too few places for boaters to launch is getting worse. The $17.5-million boat launch in Orange Beach north of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is expected to address the demand. Dubbed “The Launch at ICW,” its groundbreaking on June 16 was celebrated by Gov. Kay Ivey and other officials. The event culminated more than four years of planning for a project that will add six launches, 200 lighted boat and trailer parking spaces and 84 lighted passenger car spaces on 47 acres off the Foley Beach Express. Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said that, once complete, the launch will be the largest in coastal Alabama and rival some of the largest public access points found in North Alabama at Weiss Lake and Guntersville Lake. Funding is solely through oil and gas lease revenues Alabama receives through the Gulf of Mexico Security Act. The project is expected to take approximately eight months to construct, but the facility is not expected to open until Memorial Day 2022.

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