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Part of Oklahoma River to remain dry until March

The east basin of the Oklahoma River was drained last week so that the city could complete several long-planned projects, public works director said.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Modified: December 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm •  Published: December 15, 2012

River activities have been pushed to the central or western basins of the river, and riverside activities — such as the zip line and other aspects of the Downtown in December program — are not affected by the projects, he said.

“Obviously the preference is for most of those activities to take place in the east basin, but a lot of those activities have been moved,” Wenger said. “And this isn't the first time we've done this — we do it every few years just to clean the river.”

The river-canal project will allow visitors staying in hotels in the Meridian Avenue area to visit downtown using an entirely aquatic route. The $2.8 million project — including a dock, plaza and pedestrian bridge — was part of a bond package approved by city voters in 2007.

The wastewater line will increase capacity of an existing line that connects residential areas south of the river to the wastewater treatment plant to the north, said Debbie Ragan, spokeswoman for the city utilities department.

That's a $6 million project funded by the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, she said.