Image: Design and scope of the Royal Billy Point boat ramp and pontoon project. Click here to expand. After some delays, work on the upgrade to the Royal Billy Point wharf and boat ramp in Pauanui is now expected to start in early May 2019. The project was delayed in 2018 as the tenders we received exceeded the project budget, however the proposed design for the upgrade of the boat ramp and wharf are finalised and the resource consent has been approved. The project has now been broken up into three contract stages and two stages are programmed to start early May 2019 and will take approximately five months to complete. Stage one - Replace the floating wharf structure and aluminium access bridge has been held off until the other two stages are completed. Stage two - Remove three sections of the access walkway and widen and replace further west has been contracted to Bridge It NZ. Stage three - Remove the existing boat ramp and timber wall and construct a new wider boat ramp with longer timber wall has been contracted to EPL. Background The boat ramp is over 50 years old as it was part of the original comprehensive development of Pauanui in the 1960s. Over the past few years the boat ramp has deteriorated. The wharf is used mostly for pedestrian access to the Tairua – Pauanui ferry service that operates from the floating pontoon. The pontoon remains an all-tide facility for shallower draft vessels. Royal Billy Point is the primary location for trailer boat parking and boat launching at the closest point to the harbour entrance at Pauanui. As part of the project residents have stated that there is a need for improvements to boat queuing, particularly in the summer months where the ramp is well used and boats have to temporarily moor on the beach while waiting for the boat ramp to become free and the vehicle and trailer are manoeuvred to the ramp. A submission to the Tairua- Pauanui Community Board meeting 09 September 2013 stated that during the Christmas period and long weekends over 200 boats per day use this boat ramp. It is expected that demand for boat launching will increase over time with a number of approved subdivisions in Pauanui. The Tairua-Pauanui Community Board received the project from a group of Pauanui residents in 2013 and then set this as a priority project. At the end of last year they supported the proposed design and scope of the Royal Billy Point boat ramp and pontoon project. The Pauanui jetty was built in 1993 and is constructed approximately 300 meters out into the harbour at Royal Bill Point reserve. At the end of this structure is a floating pontoon. The pontoon structure is 16.0 meters long x 3.55m wide. The timber decked pontoon is supported by six precast concrete flotation cells with four guide piles. The Pauanui wharf pontoon was programmed for replacement in year 2018/19 of the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan and will now be incorporated into the Royal Billy Point boat ramp redevelopment project in order to save costs associated with establishment and disestablishment of equipment. A budget of $65,000 was approved through the 2017/2018 Annual Plan for detailed design and consenting. Following a stakeholders meeting on 21 August 2017 Total Marine Services Ltd were engaged to prepare detailed designs for the concept. These designs were discussed at a stakeholders meeting held on 7 November 2017 with some minor changes being requested to the location of the boat ramp pontoon and timber retaining wall, and a platform along the top of the retaining wall. Updates on the project will be published on this page or subscribe to our e-newsletters here to have them sent to your email address.