Shelter Island Boat Launch Project Honored by American Public Works Association

Photo courtesy of Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego has been recognized by the American Public Works Association (APWA) San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter with an Honor Award for the Shelter Island Public Boat Launch Facility project. The Honor Award is a component of the annual APWA Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding individuals, groups and chapters representing the best in public works.

The project was honored in the program’s Structures category, which includes new public structures or the preservation or rehabilitation of existing public structures including municipal buildings and parks.

Award criteria included:

  • Planning, design, construction management techniques, and regulatory compliance;
  • Degree to which the project enhanced a public facility/service;
  • Community engagement and safety;
  • Environmental protection/mitigation; and
  • Adverse conditions encountered during construction.

The Port’s application focused on the magnitude of the project scope, the importance of the Shelter Island Boat Launch to the boating and fishing communities in San Diego as well as visitors, and the continued public involvement during both design and construction.

“The Port of San Diego is honored to receive this award from the APWA San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter,” said Chair Ann Moore, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “This launch ramp is a very popular amenity on San Diego Bay and we are pleased that we could provide these upgrades so that it can be enjoyed by our residents and visitors for years to come.”

Originally constructed in the 1950s and believed to be the busiest boat launch in California with approximately 50,000 launches per year, the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility underwent upgrades in 1976 and 2005. After extensive planning and public outreach, the Port broke ground on the latest renovation in May 2017. The project entailed completely demolishing and replacing the former ramp. It also enlarged the maneuvering area in the facility’s basin, added longer boarding floats, a public walking platform with viewing areas, and new signage and lighting. The new facility was completed and opened to the public in December 2018.

The total construction cost was approximately $9.6 million. The Port received a $6.1 million grant from California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways, and a $3.5 million grant from the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board.

Delivered within budget, the new facility was constructed by R.E. Staite Engineering and designed by Triton Engineering, both local companies.