Tempe Town Lake removes buoys; makes more room for boaters

Posted: Updated:
(Source: City of Tempe) (Source: City of Tempe)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's good news for boaters and kayakers at Tempe Town Lake. They can now use half a mile more of the lake.

The buoys at each end of Town Lake are being moved or removed completely.

While the length of Town Lake remains the same, boaters will be able to access nearly an additional half-mile of the lake for rowing, kayaking and standup paddle boarding.

Using a jet ski, bulldozer and hand tools, crews removed the eastern end buoys, often referred to as the lake's orange Tic Tacs. The buoys will be repurposed at other Arizona lakes by Arizona Game and Fish. 

The eastern, upstream buoy line was simply no longer necessary for public safety, based on the findings of the 2017 engineering safety and location evaluation. Shallow water buoys will be posted closer to McClintock Drive.

The western buoy line will be moved closer to Tempe Center for the Arts and the Elmore Pedestrian Bridge late this summer, increasing the overall usable size of the lake yet again.  Nearly a half-mile of water surface will be gained overall.

“If you have ever been to Tempe Town Lake you know what a popular place it has become. Paddlers, rowers, sailors and runners have enjoyed this lake for almost 20 years," said Alicia Jerger, Town Lake senior boating coordinator. "By extending the lake we are increasing the opportunities for recreation and more people enjoying what Tempe Town Lake has to offer. We are very excited about the future of Tempe Town Lake.”

The longer lake could make it possible to host water events, such as triathlons or rowing regattas, without interrupting casual boating at the other end of the lake. It allows more people to be able to use the lake. 

The 2-mile-long Tempe Town Lake serves three purposes for Tempe: flood control, economic development and recreation. More than 2.4 million people visit Tempe Town Lake each year. Approximately 44,000 people work within a mile of its shores at companies such as State Farm Insurance, Silicon Valley Bank and more. More than 40 special events are hosted at Tempe Town Lake, such as the Ironman Arizona triathlon, Aloha Festival and more. 

The City of Tempe offers several boating and recreation classes at Tempe Town Lake.

Visit www.tempe.gov/boating  for details. 

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