Paradise >> A crowded parking lot will have a little more elbow room soon as construction is underway to expand the parking lot at Lime Saddle Boat Launch Area.
People using the boat ramp Saturday on another hot and busy summer day say the expansion is overdue.
Larry Petersen, 64, of Magalia, said that could certainly be a possibility, but he added that he’s been visiting the Lime Saddle site since the 1970s and parking has regularly maxed out.
“It always fills up,” said Petersen, who went fishing Saturday morning. “Every year it’s usually loaded all the way out the gate.”
Workers have already begun widening a gravel parking lot at Lime Saddle to make space for about 50 more vehicles and trailers. The site will remain open through two phases of construction, and officials said the lot will be paved and lighted by next spring.
It’s one of two projects announced by the state Department of Water Resources on Friday. The other is improvements to the Bidwell Saddle Dam Trailhead in Oroville.
The projects — estimated to cost $2.8 million — come after officials closed the spillway boat launch at Oroville Dam and the Diversion Pool Day Use Area because of the spillway crisis in February.
On Saturday, boaters at Lime Saddle, whose parking lot they said has routinely filled and spilled over into overflow areas, expressed satisfaction with the parking project.
Wayne White, 42, of Magalia said the extra parking is needed. Over the last three weeks, he said, parking space has been limited, suggesting visitors are taking advantage of a higher lake level following the state’s multi-year…
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