Rice County’s busiest boat launch, on Cedar Lake, will be closed as it undergoes a number of improvements this summer, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The closure will take place soon after the July 4 holiday weekend, with contractors scheduled to complete their work before the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The public water access, 6 miles west of Faribault, will have its gravel parking lot upgraded to asphalt pavement with full-length parking stalls and expanded parking capacity. Plans also call for maintaining the existing two-ramp/two-dock configuration, installing energy-efficient lighting, adding a portable restroom facility and a tie-down stall.
“The current public water access has a number of traffic flow and safety issues,” said Parks and Trails area supervisor Joel Wagar. “We’re pleased that these improvements will greatly improve the user experience at the Cedar Lake access.”
The upgraded public water access will better accommodate modern-era boats and vehicles. The project will also address some environmental issues by adding native vegetation and modernizing stormwater management at the site, both of which will decrease the amount of untreated runoff into Cedar Lake.
Construction crews and contractors conduct the bulk of their work during warm weather months, which can occasionally conflict with other activities such as summertime boating during the same time period. Since this is Cedar Lake’s only public water access, the boating public is encouraged to find alternate lakes on the DNR website’s public water access page during this time.