A construction progress inspection for the Banister Lake Boat Landing Project was conducted onsite Friday by B&B Consultants, Inc. for a project overview with general contractor Dunavant Engineering and Construction, Inc.

Jimmy Epps, PE, who provides engineering and contract administration services for the project, reports the construction is substantially complete at this point, and the boat landing is now reopened to the public ahead of the President’s Day Weekend.

Paddlers and motorized boaters may utilize the facilities, but they are reminded to be aware of the new ramp approach and change in parking area configuration in addition to avoiding the newly seeded areas which are coned off for protection.

All visitors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the “Rules of Use” posted at the landing.

During the last 60 days of construction, the new courtesy pier pilings were driven into the lake bed, the pier decking was built, and the concrete retaining wall, steps and ADA compliant walkway connecting to the pier and stair-step launch were poured.

Electrical conduit and light pedestals were installed and tied underground into a meter box junction.

Three light posts with single arm Radial Wave fixtures will be installed over the next few weeks along with other site amenities including landscaping, decorative benches, bike racks and trash receptacles donated by the South Boston Rotary Club.

A dedication event for the project will be scheduled to coincide with the town’s Earth Day Extravaganza Celebration in April 2017.

The boat ramp located off Highway 501, has been in use for over 40 years as a popular boating and fishing destination in addition to being a recognized attraction on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, but it was in need of significant rehabilitation.

In December 2014, Halifax County transferred to the Town of Halifax the parcel upon which the facilities were originally constructed in 1970 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF).

The town applied for funds to upgrade the boating facilities, receiving grants from DGIF through their Boating Access to Localities Program, as well as being awarded funding from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, a Dominion Environmental Stewardship Grant through the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA), the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund and most recently, the Riverbank Fund through the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region.

Halifax Town Council authorized approval of the competitive bid totaling $266,900 opened on Aug. 9 with construction commencing in late October.

The Banister River is part of the Virginia Scenic Rivers System extending from Highway 29 in Pittsylvania County approximately 63.3 miles to the confluence with the Dan River in Halifax County.

Interest in kayaking/canoeing has grown significantly, and with the development of the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway (SVWB), this access site will be enjoyed by both motorized boat users and paddle sport water craft enthusiasts for fishing, wildlife viewing and related outdoor activities.

The SVWB consists of four rivers and two lakes spanning Halifax and Mecklenburg counties, connecting over 100 miles of navigable water and 1,200 miles of shoreline.