Towers are going up for a much anticipated zip line that will cross the Oklahoma River — just one of several new attractions and amenities being added along the increasingly popular waterway.
Last year was the first season of operation for the SandRidge Skytrail, which anchors the zip line on the river’s north shore. The skytrail also includes a ropes course, one of the country’s longest slides, and bungee jumping.
“The installation team thinks they can get the zip line vertical in a week,” said Mike Knopp, director of the Oklahoma River Boathouse Foundation. “We will then do staff training, certifications and, after that, we will start an opening of it toward late May, with a full opening on Memorial Day weekend.”
Knopp said he has encountered a lot of anticipation for the zip line, which will cross the river and connect with a tower on the river’s south shore. The zip line will allow visitors to latch themselves to the line and cross the river at a very fast speed.
“Everyone asks about it; there’s a lot of buzz about it,” Knopp said. “It’s very unique, and the view from up there is incredible.”
By late summer, stadium-style lighting along the waterway will be augmented by a series of viewing towers with specialized colored lighting that will add even more fun for those riding the zip line at night.
The viewing towers, Knopp said, are under construction as part of a second phase of improvements by the foundation that also will include lighted way-finding signs that will start in Bricktown, a sound system and video boards that will be placed all along the RiverSport venues.
The speakers will feature music and announcements provided by a new RiverSport radio station, while cameras will be installed at the viewing towers that will provide live feeds of river events on the video boards.
This summer also marks the construction of a new boathouse that will be home to the University of Central Oklahoma’s rowing teams and will include a live music venue. And bids are being sought now for a white water rapids venue that will be built just east of the row of boathouses.
Visitors this summer also will discover the river will be home to more concessions and more restrooms.
“This is all another step in creating a world-class experience downtown,” Knopp said. “It’s not common for an urban center to have these kinds of attractions.”
Everyone asks about it; there’s a lot of buzz about it. It’s very unique, and the view from up there is incredible.”
Director of the Oklahoma River Boathouse Foundation