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De Pere’s Bomier Boat Launch getting upgrades

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – Bomier Boat Launch is getting a facelift just in time for fall boaters.

The $500,000 project is being funded primarily with money from the National Resource Damage Assessment program, as well as a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The NRDA contribution came from part of De Pere’s share of the money from PCB damage to the river caused by paper companies.

The NRDA and DNR are funding all but $60,000 of the project, said Marty Kosobucki, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of De Pere.

The facelift has four main goals: improving the passive recreation area, widening the boat launch, adding parking, and installing an ADA-compliant kayak launch.

Passive recreation area (greenspace)

Additions will include a metal gazebo/picnic area, a pergola and a path along the greenspace area, plus benches and another walkway down from the Bomier entrance sign to the greenspace area.

“Before, it was never very inviting – just grass, trees and a couple benches that there was no sidewalk to,” Kosobucki said.

Once completed, it will be usable, so people can walk down and enjoy the river.

“It’s going to be a very pristine, pleasant, aesthetic location there with the river and St. Norbert College in the background,” Kosobucki said, adding that it could become a prime location for wedding photos.

Expanding the boat launch

While it’s billed as a two-boat launch, Kosobucki said he’s not sure two boats have ever been in and out of there at the same time because it’s not wide enough.

“It’s a fairly popular launch, and we want to alleviate some of the congestion that happens,” he said.

Improving parking and traffic flow

With one parking lot and a narrow two-lane road leading into it, the old layout wasn’t conducive to traffic or trailers, so people end up parking along the streets throughout the neighborhood, Kosobucki said.

Crews are expanding the current lot and adding a second lot to the south of the restroom building.

The second lot will add about 10 stalls, enough to unjam a bottleneck or two.

What’s happening now is that boaters put their boats in the water and then go park their vehicles and trailers, often blocks away, said De Pere Alderman Ryan Jennings.

Other boaters can’t proceed until the boat ahead of them gets out of the way.

“The fluidity of the boat launch will be much better for our users,” Kosobucki said. “They’ll be able to get in and out without this huge ball of congestion.”

Janke General Contractors of Athens is doing the work.

The $500,000 price tag includes: $98,000 for a boat launch slab; $38,000 for the gazebo/picnic shelter; $34,000 for pavement base course; $33,700 for a dock; $33,000 for a concrete sidewalk; $31,000 for a kayak launch; $28,000 for asphalt; $24,600 for concrete stairs; $24,000 for curb and gutter; $23,000 for 20 shade and ornamental trees, 16 evergreens, and 13 evergreen shrubs; $19,700 for a concrete block retaining wall; $17,000 for excavation; and $13,500 for a pergola.

Bomier Boat Launch is expected to be closed until Oct. 5.

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