Onset Boat Ramp construction to begin soon

By Matthew Bernat | Feb 26, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Workers perform preliminary work at the Onset Boat Ramp before Monday's scheduled groundbreaking.

Construction will soon be underway to replace the aging Onset Boat Ramp with a new 16-foot wide, 104-foot long ramp. Harbormaster Garry Buckminster said the contractor, Kingstown, Rhode Island-based Key Corporation, was scheduled to break ground sometime this week.

“We have been in constant communication with them and expect to see some action soon,” said Buckminster.

Buckminster said Key Corporation has until April 30 to finish construction per its contract with the town. The company submitted the lowest bid for the work. Out of four received in mid-August, Key Corporation's bid was $156,000.

Built in 1962, the boat ramp is located off of East Boulevard in Onset, on Broad Cove. A concrete ramp will be built at the site, allowing boaters to easily get their vessels in and out of the cove. Funds for the reconstruction are coming from a $100,000 Community Preservation Act grant.

The Bouchard Transportation Trustee Council also awarded $67,500 for the project. That council is responsible for helping to clean up Buzzards Bay following an oil spill in 2003.

The boat ramp reconstruction is one improvement residents can look forward to this year. In October, Town Meeting voters approved transferring $104,128 from two Harbormaster Department accounts into one that funds improvements.

Of the $104,128, $25,000 will cover unforeseen expenses related to the Onset Boat Ramp project. Any and all of the funds approved at Town Meeting that were not spent will be returned to the account they were taken from originally. The remaining $79,128 will be spent on waterfront upgrades, all-terrain vehicles and a redesign of office space and restrooms at Onset Pier.

There are nine different expenditures in total, including: $10,000 for mooring and dock repairs; $20,400 for two, all-terrain vehicles to patrol beaches and other uses; and $6,000 to redesign the Onset Pier Harbormaster Office, information center and showers and bathrooms.

Additionally, $9,000 will be used to buy replacement swim lines, supplies to build a kayak rack, and barriers and snow fences to protect beaches from erosion.

Comments (19)
Posted by: cranky pants | Feb 26, 2017 15:45

Do we the residents and tax payers get to use said all terrain vehicles ? Those are fun !

Posted by: paul innis | Feb 27, 2017 07:43

Any sliver of that big pie going toward Recreational/Commercial shellfishing ?    "Littleneck Louie"

Posted by: bob | Feb 27, 2017 08:29

BOYS GOT HAVE THERE TOYS..................

Posted by: Chaka | Feb 27, 2017 18:10

Not trying to be negative, but I am curious as to how you can build a new boat ramp without polluting the water? Any info is appreciated.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 27, 2017 19:45

Chaka, modern marine construction projects do not pollute the water. Many techniques are utilized to prevent pollution.  Local, state, and federal regulations make sure of it.  Often even the hydraulic fluid in the equipment is non-toxic incase of an accidental leak.  Even minor things like disrupted silt creating turbidity  (cloudy water) are mitigated with barriers.


I don't think that there is anything to worry about.

Posted by: Rosebud | Feb 28, 2017 02:26

So, when does work begin on the boat ramp at Swift's Neck?  (Yes, there actually is a ramp that has been ignored and not maintained for many years now.)

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 28, 2017 07:13

Rosebud, Swifts Neck ramp was actually rebuilt in recent memory.  Probably around 2000-2001.  It is a marginal ramp at best.  Too exposed to waves. Shallow with a gradual pitch.  High tide use only.  The prevailing SW wind deposits sand on it rendering it unusable.  It would be great to see it improved but I wouldn't hold your breath.  It isn't too priority.  There is a parking issue  and a safety issue as well.  If more came to used it, where would they park the trailers in the summer with so many there using the beach. Little kids everywhere.  Just a bad place for a ramp nowadays.

Posted by: bob | Feb 28, 2017 07:31

WBS,Good point but look at the huge playground area at Swifts Neck,I'm sure that a portion of that could be made into a parking area for that purpose.Also why cant they use CPA funds to build it and CPA funds to dredge the sand back onto the beach area,and then rebuild the ramp......

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 28, 2017 09:01

I'd love to see a usable ramp there.  It is so convenient vs towing all the way to Tempest Knob.  Maybe something will be done.  As is it's not good.  I launched a little Sea-Doo there last summer.  At high tide I still had to submerge my rear brakes and had waves coming over the bumper of a full sized 4wd pickup.  Not good.

Posted by: bob | Feb 28, 2017 09:09

WBS,don't hold your breath,this is Wareham....But wouldn't it be nice that our tax monies (CPA) is spent on something that all the taxpayers and residents ,summer guest could use....

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 28, 2017 10:40

I know...I know.  Just getting the big piles of sand dug out of that ramp is difficult.  Wanna hear something ridiculous?  I hope it's a rumor.  I was told that the the sand deposited in that ramp can't just be dug up and removed.  Something about naturally deposited sand and some environmental nonsense.  Imagine that?  Wareham has 54 miles of coastline and they're worrying about 20 feet of it at a boatramp!

Posted by: Rosebud | Feb 28, 2017 11:09

WBTS and BOB:  Thank you for your feedback.   I'm familiar with the situation.  The point is that there are other parts of Wareham besides Onset; and they too need resources.  We have a large playground which was supposed to be updated.  Hasn't happened and dont't know why.  (Anyone know?)  Been asking for sinking drainholes to be fixed for YEARS.  Not done.  Just seems like all but Onset get neglected when it comes to improvements.





beautiful but small

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Feb 28, 2017 14:21

Are the drain holes on Private rd or public roads. It they are on private roads call a contractor and get them fixed.

Posted by: bob | Feb 28, 2017 16:53

SPHEREBREAKER,and if they are on town roads FORGET IT...Just ride around town.....

Posted by: Garry B. | Mar 01, 2017 12:30

Chaka, the ramp is actually made of concrete and the underlayment is gravel a natural base as opposed to using asphalt.   We are just waiting on them to finish pouring the precast ramp off site then they deliver and place each panel.  It's a replacement of a mixed asphalt/concrete ramp.

Posted by: Garry B. | Mar 01, 2017 12:37

As for the swifts neck ramp I believe that was replaced in the mid to late 90's.  It would be great to have better access there but it's quite simply a lousy spot for a ramp.  It's shallow all the way out, Mother Nature moves the beach every other week and loves to put it back on the ramp and the lot isn't set up for trailers.  Dredging is a waste of time because it will fill in as fast as the channel is. It and the costs would be beyond even possible.  We have sent off request to start the push for the Wareham River Dredge and we want to factor Tempest Knob into it as well, fingers crossed.

Posted by: bob | Mar 01, 2017 18:39

GB,the dredging of Swifts Beach,Swifts Neck to place apx.50 years ago..So I would think that was not a waste of time....What ever happen to your idea of going co-op of a draeger....Maybe you should contact our U.S. Congressman,and U.S.Senators...

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Mar 01, 2017 21:32

They dredged the Wareham River channel out off of Swifts Beach &  Swifts Neck 50 years ago.  You can walk out to it at low tide.  It's wide. It goes across to Long Beach.  I don't think they ever dredged the Swifts Neck Boatramp connecting it to the Wareham River channel.

Posted by: Garry B. | Mar 01, 2017 22:12

Bob, they have never dredged a channel to the Swifts Neck boat ramp, it was the federal channel maintenance back in the 50's.  Only the spoils made it to the beach and Mother Nature is reclaiming it.  I 'm sorry but I strongly disagree,  dredging to the ramp is unrealistic.   The site doesn't have the needed pitch and is fairly consistent in shallow depth (subsurface) almost past the mooring field, the lot is virtually sea level and with the continuous southwest beating the beach takes the channel would need unrealistic amounts of maintenance dredging to maintain a extremely limited site.  If I could find a site to put a good ramp I would do everything I can to do so but our coastline is virtually landlocked by private property, non conducive sites then put on top of it poor bridge heights.  The Plymouth County Dredge is an option however we were originally explained to that we're only paying into the operation of the machine. Materials excavated, hauled away and disposed of would all be paid just like if we hired a private contractor as well as permits, engineering, etc.  I have a list of sites and estimated Dredge amounts and priority and would be happy to follow up with PCD but the priorities are the navigation channels.

If you wish to comment, please login.