UPDATE: Regatta begins, Bricktown Landing plans temporarily derailed
OKLAHOMA CITY – Plans to connect Bricktown to the Boathouse District have been derailed, at least temporarily.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma City leaders hoped to cut the ribbon on what’s called the Bricktown Landing but a dispute with Union Pacific Railroad put those plans on hold.
The Bricktown Landing is designed to let people walk between the Oklahoma River and the Bricktown Canal without having to drive.
Unfortunately, Union Pacific hasn’t given their approval to allow boats or people underneath their rail line.
Jill Rossiter said, “It’s very convenient and it’s easy.”
Rossiter is visiting Oklahoma City from London and praised the city’s construction of the Bricktown Landing.
Rossiter said, “I think it’s a great idea because I like to walk. It’s nice to not get in your car for a change.”
The new trail runs under the new I-40, tying into the end of the Bricktown Canal near the Land Run Monument.
“It really links up two very key attractions,” said Mike Knopp, with the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation. “It really is providing that connection that we’ve never had. We’ve always been isolated in the Boathouse District.”
Crews are now left to finish cutting the grass and cleaning the sidewalks because a deal with Union Pacific hasn’t been reached to get the permits to allow pedestrians and boats under the rail line.
Barriers warn people to stay away from the completed trail, despite years of negotiation.
Kristy Yeager, Oklahoma City spokesperson, said, “We’ve been working with Union Pacific for 10 years on this project so hopefully we’ve got their attention now.”
At the very least, the city hopes to have a temporary agreement in place for the regatta.
The regatta begins Wednesday and ends on Sunday.