State boat launch in Milford Ct-FYI

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The state launch in Milford (by the I-95 bridge) has been closed for years now as it was used as a staging area for the construction of the new bridge over the Housatonic.

It was scheduled to reopen  in 2017, but I learned that the reopening has been delayed due to the discovery of contaminated soil in the area.

I emailed the DEEP last week for more details and got this informative response from Mike Payton-Supervisor, Navigation & Boating Infrastructure Unit
Boating Division DEEP Marine HQ:



I understand that the planned reopening of the Milford State Boat Launch has been postponed due to soil contamination concerns and that construction has been delayed.

-Q:Can you clarify the contamination issue, and when that is expected to be addressed?

-A:The Contractor’s personnel are being trained the week of Feb. 20th in order meet the requirements with handling contaminated material. With that said, they would then need a staging location to handle and process the contaminated material. This has yet to be determined.

-Q:As the existing ramp and parking area are still in place, can you explain what construction is planned before the ramp can be reopened? Do the platforms built for the construction on the river need to be removed? What is the projected timeline?

-A:Additional boring test are being proposed next week. If all is well, the best scenario would be the removal of all platforms, parking lot and boat launch could be completed in the fall of 2017. If all is not well, the spring of 2018.
FYI….Most of the proposed boat launch material has been purchased and is located under the bridge on the Milford side. They have the material and are ready to go, but they have to go through the hurdle of handling the contamination first.




So while there is a delay, it looks like there is a plan to get the ramp open in the fall and if not, by the following spring. It is nice to get such a quick, informative response from the DEEP.


Additionally, the Branford ramp construction has been completed, but there were issues with "settling" before it opened.  Repairs are expected to be completed by the springtime this year.

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DEEP gave no specifics as to the cause or type of contamination, although I could speculate on a number of possibilities.


I can't recall exactly when it closed, I had a slip for a few years in Milford but have been towing for the last 5 years. I use the Milford town ramp for my 19.5' CC and swing around to the lower Housy, but if the wind picks up it can make for a real bumpy ride home.


For the last two seasons I got a Stratford ramp sticker.   $125 for non residents.


State ramp access to LIS west of the CTR and especially west of New Haven is limited, and this ramp will provide a good option as well as better access to the upper Housy. (and unfortunately more crowds for the spring and fall schoolie runs).

I am hopeful they can get it done by fall.

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ahh my old stomping grounds, I could walk to that ramp in about 1.5 minutes from my house, always glance down there when visting my parents.


Definatley be nice to have that ramp functioning again

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Think the contamination might have something to do with the giant power plant right next door to the ramp? Nah!  The river was so abused in the past it could also be contaminates from GE in Massachusetts. 

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From CT DEEP website:


Housatonic River Boat Launch

The launch will re-open on Friday, June 14, 2019. 


Site Sketch of the Housatonic River Boat Launch (PDF)

Type: Trailered
Season: Year round
Directions: I-95, Exit 34. Turn west on Route 1 then north on Naugatuck Avenue. Launch is on the left.
No person shall operate a motorboat in excess of Slow No Wake: 
(A) When passing marinas, yacht clubs, fuel docks, anchorages and docks, boat launches and congested areas. 
(B) Within the following specific areas: 
  1. The area bounded by a point five hundred feet upstream from navigation aid #4 and bounded southerly by a point five hundred feet downstream from navigation aid #3;
  2. the channel east of Nells Island and all channels, creeks or waterways within the Charles E. Wheeler Wildlife Management Area, including Nells Island; 
  3. the area bounded northerly by the Devon railroad bridge between Milford and Stratford and bounded southerly by navigation aid #14; and
  4. the area bounded northerly by the northermost tip of Wooster Island and bounded southerly by the southermost tip of Wooster Island.
Docks: Floating Metal
Toilets: Chemical (Seasonal)
Parking Spaces: 44
Parking Surface: Paved
Access Road Surface: Paved
Ramp Surface: Concrete Panel
ADA Accessible: Yes

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Ramp looks great from the rt. 1 "buzz bridge". Small craft advisory out there today. SW winds 5 to 10 kt in morning, increasing to 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. in afternoon.Seas 1 ft or less, then 2 to 3 ft this afternoon.

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