Local News

Construction on Broadway Street boat launch in Marseilles to begin once weather dries

Launch may be ready by September or October, weather permitting

Marseilles will have a new boat launch on the north side of the Illinois River possibly by the fall.

Mayor Jim Hollenbeck said Pohar Construction planned to get started on building the new boat launch right away but the area is a muddy swamp right now with the rain in the past week. Construction should begin on the launch next week at the soonest.

“Because bids came in at about $100,000 over our engineer’s estimate, we have been working with Pohar to modify some things on the bid sheet and we now have the price down to $462,163.80,” Hollenbeck said. “We’re closer on that front.”

The original bid would have cost $553,049.

Hollenbeck said he’s hoping the launch will be ready by September or October but it’s hard to say what will happen weather-wise.

The boat launch has been in the city’s comprehensive plan since the mid-1990s.

The project picked up steam after the city swapped land in 2019 with Nucor for a site just southeast of Marseilles Elementary School. Then in 2020, Marseilles was one of six communities selected for grant funds to improve public boat access areas in Illinois, receiving $200,000.

Research in the community showed an interest in boating and fishing options as well as attracting tourism.

Hollenbeck had previously said the boat launch has been on the city’s agenda for a while its his hope the additional traffic will mean a boost to businesses in the area. Boat launches in Seneca and Illini State Park have filled to capacity during summer weekends.