Construction of new docks on Put-In-Bay frozen in its tracks Featured

Aerial view of the docks: Photo by Mark Hablitzel

A 5.6 million dollar project is underway on Put-In-Bay to replace and renovate 905 ft. of existing docks and construct 590 ft. of new floating docks with 2,246,000 dollars worth of grants from the federal government. The renovation and addition to the docks will give a much needed overhaul for transient boaters that come to Put-In-Bay. In compliance with the grant, installation of new lighting connections as well as electrical, water and fire protection improvement must be done on the existing and proposed docks.

“This federal award, especially combined with the state funds, will provide even greater access to the boating community,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur at the announcement of the grant last April. “Put-in-Bay is truly one of the crown jewels. Its docks are basically the front door to the community and everything it has to offer.” 

The harsh winter that the area has had so far has been great for ice fisherman, but not so great for the construction of the docks.

“We have been removing the existing power lines and trenching,” said Doug Knauer, village administrator at Put-In-Bay. “The equipment was already brought over before winter to start that part of the project.”

The lake and docks iced over before the new docks could be brought over from Catawba. Right now the new docks are sitting on the mainland, waiting to be brought over. The original plan was to bring a tugboat through to break up the ice so a barge could bring the new docks over, but since this is the first opportunity in years our community has had to partake in winter sport fishing the plan had to be revamped.

The new plan: to take a docks and equipment over the ice.

The first time the docks were attempted to be transported, some of the equipment fell through the ice. This setback slowed down the project.

“The back and forth is really like watching the roadrunner and coyote,” said Nick James. James has been monitoring the project closely and intends to live stream the transportation of the docks over the WPIB and WPCR websites.

The project is scheduled to be completed by May to ensure that it will be done by the time the tourist season in the area starts. Workers and townspeople are doing all they can to figure out a way to make this happen. The project will do wonders for the village of Put-In-Bay which is already an asset to our community.

To monitor progress on the docks movement, visit and to watch Nick James’ live stream of the transport when it becomes available.

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