Champoeg dock to close temporarily
Due to emergency repairs being made on a ramp, the boat dock at Champoeg State Heritage Area will be closed for about two weeks. The closure, which runs from Friday through Aug. 10, comes during peak boating season and at a time in which many visitors come through the park for a variety of outdoor activities.
John Mullen, park manager at Champoeg, said it's unfortunate that the closure comes during peak use time, but the time for necessary in-water work is limited.
"There is a cement hill that the ramp – which allows people to walk down to the dock – sits on," Mullen explained. "This cement hill up on the bank has been undercut beneath the water due to erosion, so an engineering outfit came out and did some hydrology studies. It's basically a design error and we need to stabilize the bank, otherwise the whole thing will collapse."
The park is hiring a contractor to repair the eroded areas underneath the cement where the gangway meets the shore. During the repairs, visitors should avoid the area and dock access will be closed.
Facilities up and downriver from the dock include Boones Ferry and Memorial Park near Wilsonville and Rogers Landing in Newberg. While there are some differences between the docks, they offer the same services as the one in Champoeg, and sometimes more.
"We don't have a boat ramp, so our users are a bit different than the ones at Rogers Landing and elsewhere," Mullen said. "They're arriving to put boats in, while our docks are mainly used by campers and day use people at the park."
Day users are often arriving or leaving on kayaks and canoes, going fishing or engaging in other outdoor activities on the water. A Boy Scout group recently approached Mullen with a request to put in 16 kayaks, but they were directed elsewhere due to this emergency repair.
The changes to the dock are budgeted by the park under "facility improvement funds," Mullen said, and are funded primarily by lottery dollars.
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