FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A popular Fort Pierce boat ramp is preparing for a major overhaul.
More than $600,000 worth of upgrades are coming to Fisherman's Wharf.
The reconstruction project will take many months and being met with mixed opinions.
The Black Pearl boat ramp at Fisherman's Wharf in Fort Pierce is home to many passions.
There is a constant flow of boaters heading out to fish, along with kayakers and musicians. All of them were surprised by signs posted at the marina Friday morning that say the ramp will be closed Oct. 19, 2020, to June 22, 2021. Some welcome the closure and upgrades.
"A lot of people use it, and it does need to be redone," said Fort Pierce resident Richard Shields.
Others are not as happy with the shutdown.
"Terrible. We've got all the snowbirds and seasonal people coming in, and I think if they were going to do it, I think they should have chosen the summer months," said Fort Pierce resident Audrey Enns.
"You want a new ramp? You've got to shut it down to rebuild it," said Fort Pierce resident Matthew Samuel.
A St. Lucie County spokesperson said the reconstruction is part of a larger county project. The $627,000 project will close the ramp for up to eight months.
"It's close to our home. It's downtown. It's very convenient," Enns said.
The existing boat ramp will be demolished for a new, wider boat ramp with a floating accessory dock. Also, 34 feet of bulkhead and sheet pile wall will be reconstructed for support and enforcement.
"They need a longer dock here in between the two ramps," said Bo Samuel, the owner of Pullin Drag Fish and Charters.
The majority of boaters that WPTV spoke with said it is a needed investment.
"Fiberglass doesn't do good with concrete, and that's why they need to build a dock here," said Shields.
Boaters said the dock has needed upgrades since Hurricane Irma hit Florida in and look forward to the improvements.