City closes public boat launch at Schwatka Lake

Crumbling concrete ramps on the western shore of Schwatka Lake have forced the City of Whitehorse to close its public boat/plane launch until it can be rebuilt.

Crumbling concrete ramps on the western shore of Schwatka Lake have forced the City of Whitehorse to close its public boat/plane launch until it can be rebuilt.

A section of the aging ramps has fallen away, explained Pat Ross, manager of planning and building services with the City of Whitehorse.

“You’d be backing a boat or trailer on there and hear a big crunk as your axle drops over the edge,” he said.

“It just suddenly ends. Now you’ve hooked your trailer on this concrete ramp and it’s really problematic to get it out of there.”

The issue was identified last year as part of the new Schwatke Lake Area Plan, passed by city council last year.

Ross said funding for the repairs would come from the federal gas tax fund.

The grant, in the amount of $80,000, will cover the design, construction and removal of the existing ramp, Ross said.

The application is currently with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall and should be completed by the end of the year, Ross added.

In the meantime, boaters are expected to use the public boat launch at the Schwatka Lake day use area on the eastern shore. Pilots are advised to launch from the Black Sheep Aviation lease area near the ramps.

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