Urgent dredging at busy boat launch put off until fall

Sandbar under the dock at Cook Road boat launch.

KELOWNA - A mechanical failure in specialized equipment has forced the City of Kelowna to reschedule urgent dredging at the Cook Road boat launch.

The city announced just two days ago it’s largest boat launch would close for a week at the height of the boating season, but now says the work will have to move to the fall, so as to meet environmental regulations and fisheries schedules.

Infrastructure planning manager Terry Barton says the current window of opportunity for the dredging is up to August 24. The city had planned on completing the work between August 10 and 16.

“The delay is unfortunate. It’s important to get this work done in a timely manner. We will continue to work with the contractor to reschedule the dredging in the fall," Barton says.

The dock at the city’s busiest boat launch has a huge sandbar emerged underneath it, the result of sediment flushing down Mission Creek from storms last winter. Mission Creek is the single largest source of water for Okanagan Lake.

The sandbar has also affected navigation at the boat launch, forcing users to steer around it and reducing the width of the channel. Cook Road is one of the busiest boat launches on Okanagan Lake.

The city is advising boaters who use Cook Road to use caution and expect delays and to consider using the one of the other four boat launches when possible.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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