I'm guessing you may get away with it on a weekend when they aren't working. Bear in mind that I am only guessing.
There were certainly a load of folks using the ramp last Sunday. I did notice that the construction area warning "NO TRESSPASSING OR WE'LL EAT YOUR YOUNG" signs were no longer posted. No way to tell if they were removed by authority or "accidentally."
I went by this evening (Sunday, May 21, 2017) and it looks like they poured the boat ramp. It is a standard concrete boat ramp much like the one built at highway 411 (Nell's Landing).
The parking area was, as expected after the heavy rains last night, exceptionally muddy. There was one 4x4 truck stuck in the classic "won't go no mo" position. Judging by the tracks in the mud, some folks did manage to get in and out today. It won't take much now. All they need is about 50 dump loads of rock to finish the parking area.
I stopped by Hardin Bridge after lunch today and was fortunate to catch the foreman on the site. The detail that follows quotes information I received from him directly.
The ramp is not completely finished. They have poured the river-end slab and are waiting for it to cure (7 days) before they push it down the slope with a dozer into the river. Following that, they will pour the upper section slabs. It is a clever technique. There is a video of a much larger ramp being installed using the same method here:
Their plan today was to begin adding gravel to the parking lot, but the rain pushed that out a bit. Instead, they are moving most of the heavy equipment out because they are finished with the work that required it.
They are on track for a Grand Opening date of June 20, 2017. There is an event planned for that date at the site.
I would agree that unless there is a great deal of bad weather (that is not in any long-range forecast), they can easily make that date.
I went by this morning and saw they have more sod, the gravel entry drive and most of the gravel parking lot in place. They are still blocking the entry with heavy equipment. It looks like they will have no trouble meeting their projected June 20, 2017 open date. The remaining work to completion looks like just fiddly touch-up bits.
I doubt it. They didn't pave the highway 113 ramp or the Nell's Landing ramp parking areas. However, they do run a DynaPac vibrating roller over the gravel (I saw one on the site) and it makes a pretty solid and reliable surface for gravel.
I braved walking past the "Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted. No Hunging or Fishing." signs and wrangled my way past the folks with boats and fishing gear who apparently also willing to make the same choice, to bring you these pictures.
The ramp road is sill blocked with heavy equipment and it is unclear whether they plan to pave or just go with gravel. There is a lot of rain coming this week, so I'm guessing that paving might tweak their deadline.
I went by today and the ramp is open and in use. The official opening hasn't happened, but the obstructions have been removed and even the picnic tables have been installed. A dozen or so boat trailers were in the lot. They even have a new sign presenting the site as "Hardin Bridge Landing."
Gravel apparently won over asphalt paving. The marked parking places in the plan were clearly an "artist's concept." Nice ramp, though. I can't wait to get time to use it!
Yep. Rain equals mud. Also, the recent release plan from Lake Allatoona and resulting flow graph starts to look more like a heart monitor than anything else. That doesn't help.
More rain is in the forecast. Time to dig out the rattletraps and brightly-colored reflective lures. Probably a good idea to leave the spray nozzle on the hose so you can just pull in and use it right away to knock the mud stain off the yak.
They did a very clever thing with this ramp. Not only is it a standard boat ramp that will accommodate most boats that would be able to run the river, they also included a slide ramp for kayaks and canoes. Not a bad idea!
Lots of folks using the ramp today (Sunday June 18, 2017).
River depth is usually 10-15 feet MAX. There are areas of near 0 feet, especially when the water is low and slow. I've never had to drag a boat, but I have bumped the bottom a few times. I have revised my opinion of back-paddling after a good experience from the Hardin Bridge ramp recently. Now I believe that SOME ramps are in parts of the river that make paddling upstream possible when the water is not too high. Other ramps, like Euharlee Bridge, are at a spot in the river that will make you very old, very fast if you try to paddle upstream.
There are stripers all through the lower Etowah. Bait works (chicken liver). White flukes sometimes work. Jigs sometimes work. Rattletraps sometimes work. If you can net some live shad, that's gold....if the turtles don't get them.