On weekends, the parking lot at the Salty Sol Boat Ramp on Gandy Boulevard almost always is full.
Some people wind up parking their cars and boat trailers on the grass, only to find a parking ticket on their windshields when they return after a day out on the water, said Bill Robinson, owner of Gandy Bait and Tackle across the road.
Beginning in July, boaters will have a little bit more room.
Work has begun on an expansion of the Salty Sol Boat Ramp parking lot that will add 31 spaces for vehicles and trailers. The new spaces are meant to help alleviate congestion at the boat ramp, which is at 5108 W. Gandy Blvd.
“Boaters have been asking us for a good while to improve the parking lot and add new spaces,” said Hillsborough County spokeswoman Jennifer Hall. “It does get pretty packed on the weekends and this will allow more people to access it.”
As part of the $400,000 project, workers will repave the entire lot and clean up a drainage area around the boat wash.
“I think it is going to help tremendously,” Robinson said.
The work is funded by the county’s Capital Improvement Program and boat registration fees. Boaters still will be able to access the ramp during construction, county officials said.
The expanded lot is a good thing for the area’s “best boat ramp,” Robinson said. Next he would like to see the county build a pier there for people who want to fish or take a stroll.
“The more they can do for access to the water is good,” he said. “The water is why people live around here.”