Posted September 14, 2023 | 8:01 AM

Hillsborough to Create Navigation Channel in Alafia River

The project will improve boater safety by prohibiting boats from anchoring in the channel

Update: The work on this project will now begin Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2023) - On Monday, Sept. 18, the County will begin construction of the Williams Park navigation channel in the Alafia River. The channel will stretch from the U.S. 41 bridge to the federal Alafia River channel adjacent to the Mosaic Marine Terminal.

Construction of the 650-foot long by 150-foot-wide channel should be finished by Wednesday, Sept. 20. Creating the navigation channel will not require dredging; instead, construction will involve the installation of nine pilings with navigation markers.

The Lower Alafia River and the Williams Park Boat Ramp have long been a difficult area to transit because of the large number of boats anchored in the area. Without a marked channel, there were no regulations requiring boat owners to provide a safe, obstacle-free lane for boats moving up and down the Alafia River. The new marked channel will prohibit boat owners from anchoring within the limits of the channel, thus providing a safe path for boats moving upriver or out to Tampa Bay.

The project is being overseen by the Marine Safety Division of Hillsborough County Conservation & Environmental Lands Management. The County has worked with multiple federal, state and local agencies to receive project permits and approvals. These agencies include the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Port Tampa Bay, and the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission.

Link: Map of channel area


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