An Active, Vibrant Harbor - Yes!! And that includes boat ramps and docks

There’s been some squabbling lately about who owns the boat ramp under the Auction Street Bridge and water-cooler-style
conversations about whether it’s been closed because of disrepair, Bass Pro, national security, or liability issues. It all seems a bit snarky.

The real conversation needs to focus on the whole harbor and how to attract and accommodate boaters. The Commercial Appeal, hit the nail on the head, “If city officials are serious about their interest in helping Memphians reconnect with the river, the Downtown area could use several ramps like the one at Auction Avenue.”

West-side of Harbor
There are 2 ramps at Mud Island River Park, both built with public money. One of those is leased by the City, through its contracting agent the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC), to the Memphis Yacht Club. The Yacht Club has agreed to open that ramp to motorboaters for a fee to help offset the Yacht Club’s rent and to canoers and kayakers for free.
But what about the Park’s other ramp? Although trucks and trailers have been spotted using it, Benny Lendermon, president of the RDC, says it’s closed for safety reasons.

East/City-side of Harbor
The RDC has $6M earmarked to restore the historic Cobblestone Landing. Designated as a public landing, this area should be designed to accommodate boaters in the future.
And on the same city-side of the harbor, Beale Street Landing is currently under construction with $29.4M worth of public money. Hopefully non-commercial boats will be able to dock there.

Simply put, if we want boats in the harbor, we’ve got to have places to launch, dock, and store them.

Click on drawing at right to see a 1995 Concept Plan by Ritchie Smith done for the Cultural Resource Preservation Plan.

Click on these links to read more about the issue:
The river, just beyond reach
Ramping down: Mississippi access hard to find
Letters to the editor
Historic Cobblestone Landing