Popular boat ramps reopen following renovations

Published 5:35 am Friday, June 2, 2023

SABINE PASS — Two of three boat ramps at 4 Pier Boat Launch opened at 5:30 a.m. today following a repair plan five years in the making.

Following erosion and storm damage, the City of Port Arthur pledged to redo three of the boat ramps located at 1st and Broadway, rebuild the bulkhead, add a fish-cleaning table and install protective devices offshore that prevent commercial vehicles from damaging the ramps.

In 2019, the city received $1,264,692 through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Harvey Fisheries Grant. In addition, Cheniere Energy gave $125,000 toward the project. The remaining funds were supplied by the City of Port Arthur.

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However, in July, it was discovered, due to inflation, the projected cost of $2,200,518 would require an additional $978,426. And the TPW grant was set to expire last month.

In August, officials broke ground on construction, which Port Authority Director Mark Viator said is now almost complete.

“They still have to install a few things,” he said. “They’ll probably finish around the first of July. But we’re opening it up for fisherman so they can put their boats in and enjoy the recreational fishing.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said between 1991 and 2021, they conducted nearly 13,000 interviews at the boat ramp to judge usages. People from 184 counties in Texas were included, as were anglers from other states and other countries.

Of the total interviewed, 58 percent were from Jefferson County and 13 percent were from Orange County.

“People from all over the region use this ramp,” Viator said. “We would like to thank Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Port Arthur and Cheniere for their contributions to make this happen. We want to make Sabine Pass the new fishing destination.”

In addition to breaking ground on ramp repairs, in August officials also began reconstruction on parts of South 1st Avenue and Mechanic Street. The Texas Department of Transportation will provide 75 percent of the estimated $877,000 needed to reconstruct South 1st Avenue from Granger Pass to the entrance of the Sabine Pass Port.

Also, at an estimated cost of $2,374,626, Mechanic Street will be widened and paved with concrete, allowing for better access to the port through its continued expansion.

Matching funds for street repairs will also be provided from the City of Port Arthur.