Dirt work begins

In this recent photo, dirt work begins at the Antioch boat ramp expansion project. The ramp will be temporarily closed starting Monday while gravel work is completed.

A popular boat ramp will be temporarily closed next week for improvements, the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge announced Thursday.

The closure to the Antioch boat ramp entrance road and parking lot will begin Monday, according to the refuge, as workers expand and upgrade the parking lot area.

“This area will be closed for several days, depending on weather and work being performed,” the refuge stated Thursday. “The refuge hopes to reopen the boat ramp by the next weekend.”

Specific work to be done includes widening of the current entrance road, as well as replacing several culverts on the road. Workers will also remove dirt and expand the size of the parking area.

The new parking lot will have a wider single entrance and exit road to be maintained by the Henry County Highway Department, and add 15-20 more parking spaces. The current exit loop will be closed, but the beach area will still be accessible from Antioch Harbor Road.

The new parking lot will also have a designated parking area for golf carts that will enable local residents during very busy weekends to launch their boats, drive to their residence with truck and trailer and return with a golf cart for parking.

“Overcrowding has long been an issue with Antioch boat ramp parking during very busy spring weekends. These improvements are designed to provide additional parking spaces to allow more users to utilize the Antioch boat ramp. The refuge regrets the temporary inconvenience to our users during this closure and appreciates your cooperation,” the statement from the refuge read.

For more information or questions about the project, call Barron Crawford, refuge manager, at 642-2091 ext. 307.

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