Avon warns rafters of new class 5 features in whitewater park
The town of Avon warned paddlers of a dangerous feature spanning the width of the river in the Avon Whitewater Park on Monday.
In a Facebook post, the town of Avon urged boaters to avoid the large feature or use extreme caution if running it. The feature is just downstream from the Avon Road bridge known as Bob the Bridge.
In early 2019, the Avon Whitewater Park underwent a renovation.
“Basically, it was a maintenance project,” said Jim Horsley, with the town’s Engineering Department. “Several wave features had shifted over the course of 10 years or so.”
The project included relocating and resetting about 550 tons of boulders.
“The features need to be updated to make them more effective and enjoyable for kayakers and other boaters,” the town wrote in a news release in March.
Above average for June 11
At the Eagle River’s recording station below the wastewater treatment plant in Avon, the mean runoff for June 11 over the past two decades is about 1,900 cubic feet per second. Tuesday measurements there didn’t dip below 2,500 cfs at any point in the day, peaking around 3,000.
In Avon’s warning to paddlers Monday, the town acknowledged that the high water the river is currently experiencing has created some potentially hazardous conditions in the newly renovated park.
“While the modifications were designed to enable people to navigate the rapids safely, the increased water level from runoff has made navigating the currents more challenging and potentially more dangerous,” the town wrote in the Facebook post, published Monday afternoon.
Commenters on the post took issue with the new feature.
“It is just scary … not fun,” wrote Tracy Walters.
One vehicle came to rest in the eastbound lanes of I-70 and the second vehicle came to rest on North Frontage Road. One occupant of each vehicle was ejected during the crash.