One of the area's most heavily used boat ramps has received an overhaul thanks to the work of some union groups.
The Wolftever Creek Boat Ramp adjacent to Harrison Bay State Park is widely used by fishermen and recreational boaters accessing Chickamauga Lake. Also, an old, dilapidated dock was demolished and replaced with a new, 104-foot handicapped-accessible floating pier.
United Auto Workers Local 42 wanted to conduct a community-based conservation project, and with the help of Union Sportsmen's Alliance research, found strong public support for the project, according to a news release. Materials for the project were bought with $10,000 raised by UAW Local 42 and $22,000 in federal marine fuel tax revenues from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, according to the release. Union members donated time and labor to remove the old materials and build the renovated ramp and new pier.
"This dock will benefit thousands of fishermen and other recreational boaters who use the Wolftever Creek boat ramp," Union Sportsmen's Alliance Conservation Manager Robert Stroede said. "It will not only improve the aesthetic value of this location but provide improved and safer access to all who utilize it."
The renovation allows for year-round use of one of the region's most popular lakes.
Participating union members represented the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 175; Ironworkers Local 704; and Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Local 5, in addition to UAW Local 42.
"The Wolftever Creek boat ramp was one of the most heavily used access points to the lake, but it was really unsafe and unusable in the winter due to low water levels," said UAW Local 42 President Steve Cochran. "Replacing the boat ramp is a project that UAW Local 42 really wanted to get involved in to benefit the public and demonstrate that we care about our community."
The old dock was demolished April 7 and the new pier installed on April 21. There is still more work to be done, but the pier is open for use.