SARANAC LAKE - Construction work to upgrade facilities at the Second Pond boat launch off of state Route 3 is underway.
The work began on Oct. 7 and is expected to be substantially completed by May 16, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Some landscaping and other work will be left to be done after that date, but the boat launch is scheduled to be functional.
The project includes upgrades to the boat launch, parking area and registration booth. The state Adirondack Park Agency approved the plan in December.
Here's a summary, provided by the DEC, of what's expected to happen:
The boat launch ramp will be replaced with a double-ramped boat launch with a turnaround, with the goal of providing a safer and more usable launch site.
The existing floating dock will be replaced with floating docks compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act that will more easily accommodate boaters as water levels rise or fall during the season.
The canoe and kayak launching site next to the floating docks will be restored to natural conditions.
Cribbing at the launch site will be removed.
The overall footprint of the existing dock and launching area will be decreased by the actions mentioned above.
The parking lot will be reconfigured, resurfaced and striped to provide spaces for 100 cars and trailers. The redesigned parking spaces will make it easier to enter and exit the facility.
Parking spaces will be provided for people with disabilities.
The additional parking will also eliminate vehicles and trailers parked along state Route 3 in the vicinity of the boat launch, making the area safer for drivers and users of the boat launch.
A new booth will be built near the launch area that DEC staff will use to register campers and to monitor the launch.
A 20-by-30-foot firewood storage shed will be built to provide for the sale of firewood to campers. The goal of this is to decrease the amount of wood taken off the state Forest Preserve by campers for campfires and to reduce the risk of transporting invasive species.