LINCOLN, Neb. — The main landing at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area near Valentine is closing temporarily to make way for construction of a new boat-launch facility.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says construction is beginning now because reservoir water levels are typically at their lowest following irrigation season. The project will include a new ramp and protective rock breakwater adjacent to the parking area for the old high-water ramp.

Construction will continue into mid-October as the reservoir refills. An alternate fish-cleaning station is available at Beed’s Landing. Officials say the public should stay clear of the work area and construction equipment entering the main landing and Willow Cove campground areas.

The new concrete ramp will replace one that was built in the 1960s and is often out of service by July.