OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The City of Oklahoma City says Parks employees will be up to their ankles in mud and muck beginning Jan. 21, when they start up to two weeks of draining and cleaning the Bricktown Canal.
Officials say Parks staff first drain the mile-long canal, then use small tractors, fire hoses and other equipment to remove silt and debris.
The canal holds 3 million gallons of water and was last cleaned in January 2017.
The job takes up to two weeks, depending on the weather. Crews expect to have the canal flowing again by mid-February, in time for Valentine’s Day weekend.
“This is an integral part of maintaining what is one of the City’s most popular tourist attractions,” said OKC Parks Director Doug Kupper. “The amount of debris that can accumulate in a few short years is remarkable, not to mention the interesting things dropped into the canal by Bricktown visitors.”
Crews from the City’s H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery will be there during the process to collect the fish inside the canal and relocate them to the Oklahoma River.
The Bricktown Water Taxi boats will also be removed and put into dry storage for maintenance and repairs.
“We try to schedule the canal cleaning so it will have as little impact as possible on water taxi operations and Bricktown commerce,” said Kupper. “As busy as Bricktown is throughout the year, that’s not always an easy task.”
Opening in 1999, the Bricktown Canal was an original MAPS project and is considered one of the state’s most popular visitor attractions with more than 100,000 annual passengers.