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Traffic Talk: Oklahoma River races sometimes require bridge closures

Don Gammill: Activities along the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City sometimes require restricting traffic on the Central Avenue (Lincoln) bridge.
by Don Gammill Published: October 8, 2012
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There's always something going on in the Oklahoma City area and motorists express their displeasure, frustration — and a few other emotions — when they have trouble getting from point A to point B during big events.

Such is the case in this note from a reader:

I was wondering why when they have an event on the Oklahoma River they feel the need to close the Lincoln Boulevard/Central Avenue bridge. On weekends it is not a big deal but with limited access to downtown from the south (Shields closed) it makes the morning and evening commutes take twice as long because you can't escape Bricktown.

— Allen

Good question, Allen. Here's the official word from the city.

Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock, public information and marketing manager for the Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Department, says portions of the Central Avenue (Lincoln) Bridge are closed during certain events along the Oklahoma River for these reasons:

“This is done from time to time for those events that are larger in scope and require event setup along the bridge,” she says. “In the case of the Regatta Fest, one side of the bridge is used for parking, as well as an outlook for race officials, photographers and other spectators.

The bridge is partially closed for events about four or five times per year total, and in each instance, the permitee is required to place temporary electronic traffic boards along Lincoln Boulevard near the bridge to notify people of the upcoming closure.

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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