A new breakwater planned at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area will protect a nearby boat launch and shoreline. The construction project is scheduled to begin this month as workers capitalize on the low water levels at the Sandhills irrigation reservoir.

The new breakwater of rock and soil will extend northwesterly from the Willow Cove area at the northeast part of the lake. Also, at the adjacent Main Area boat launch, the contractors will install a new dock system, readjust rip-rap and enhance other erosion control features.

Because of the construction, the Willow Cove campground and Main Area boat launch will be closed for a few weeks beginning Sept. 13.

Work is anticipated to be completed this fall, and other boat launches and campgrounds will be open as normal during the construction.

The project of about $400,000 is being funded through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Capital Maintenance Fund and Motorboat Access Program. The Capital Maintenance Fund is generated from a tax on the sale of motorboats and personal watercraft. Rutjens Construction of Tilden was awarded the contract.