Local

It’s the No. 1 request at one of York County’s busiest recreation sites. It’s coming.

Duke Energy

One of the busiest boat access areas on Lake Wylie will be closing for a couple of days, but boaters and visitors may like what they’ll get when it reopens.

Buster Boyd Access Area in Lake Wylie has a new restroom coming.

“A restroom facility is the No. 1 request of visitors using the Buster Boyd Access Area, and we are glad to provide it to enhance recreationists’ experience on Lake Wylie,” said John Crutchfield with Duke Energy.

Buster Boyd will close, tentatively, May 6-8. Signs will direct visitors to the upstream access at Copperhead Island in Steele Creek, N.C. That access is 6 miles from Buster Boyd. All other access sites also will be open.

Susan Bromfield, president of the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce, said the community has been waiting on the improvements.

“Finally after all these years, Duke will be putting in the restrooms at Buster Boyd,” she said. “This has been in the works for years.”

Restrooms at Buster Boyd were an identified need from the recreation improvement piece of Duke Energy’s federal hydroelectric license application. Stakeholders came up with the application in 2006. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a new license in 2015. The license outlines a wide range of requirements for Duke, the company managing the Catawba River and its lakes for power production.

One of those requirements is recreation. The company committed to upgrade 32 sites and build 26 new ones along the Catawba chain. Lake Wylie will see as many projects as any area. A canoe and kayak launch with parking at Dutchman’s Creek Access Area wrapped up last year. Construction could start this year on a new Rock Hill waterfront park with a swim area, picnic facilities, bank fishing stations, trails, restrooms and parking. But concern from neighbors near the site has stalled the project.

Other Duke improvements include picnic facilities, restrooms, trails and parking at Allison Creek Access Area; and swim area, picnic facilities, fishing piers, a bank fishing area, trails, restrooms and parking at South Point Access Area.

But the restrooms at Buster Boyd are, by themselves, a major addition.

“This is huge,” Bromfield said. “The Buster Boyd landing is the most used on the Catawba chain.”

Annual events like July 4 fireworks, Riversweep, holiday boat parade and more bring big numbers, too.

“There are dozens of fishing tournaments each year and in-water boat shows that will benefit from having restrooms conveniently located at the boat landing,” Bromfield said. “Summer weekends are like events with the Buster Boyd landing vibrant and active with folks accessing recreation on the lake from all over the area. I am sure parents of little kids and overnight fisherman coming to the lake will appreciate having a restroom by where they launch and come out of the lake.”

The Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce's annual Lights on the Lake Holiday Boat Parade saw boats large and small docked Saturday night at T-Bones on the Lake, near the Buster Boyd Bridge. Hundreds of people gathered to gaze at the illuminated boats. M

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John Marks covers community growth, municipalities and general news mainly in the Fort Mill and York County areas. He began writing for the Herald and sister papers in 2005 and won dozens of South Carolina Press Association and other awards since.
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