City officials, dragon boat racers and community members gathered recently to celebrate a new boat dock at Lake Merced in San Francisco.

The $1.68 million overhaul replaces an old gangway and freeboard wooden dock at the site with upgraded facilities that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The new boat dock, slightly larger at 140 feet, and gangway provide safer access for seniors and people with disabilities, and future access for the public, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department officials said.

“Lake Merced has long been an important recreation area for San Franciscans, a place where families can walk their dogs, fish, commune with wildlife, and launch their boats,” District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar said.

A demonstration by the California Dragon Boat Association followed the Nov. 13 ribbon cutting.

In addition to the new dock, the project included landscaping, an accessible parking stall, a concrete path leading to the new dock, a new light pole and an asphalt driveway.

The project was largely funded through the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Community Opportunity Fund.

“For so many, the Lake Merced Boat Dock has been the launch point for a lifelong love of boating. This project was vital to ensure everyone has safe and equal access to get onto the water. The end result is accessible, beautiful, and will stand the test of time,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.

The new dock is located on the North Lake, across from the Lake Merced Boathouse on the left side of the entrance road to Harding Park Golf Course.

The 600-acre Lake Merced Park is owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The city’s recreation and park department manages recreation and natural resources at the park.