With the year coming to a close, here’s an update on projects that didn’t go so smoothly in Oklahoma City in 2013.
• Four organizations submitted proposals this year to open an employee health clinic for Oklahoma City. A majority of employees who responded to an internal survey had indicated they would use the clinic if it would reduce their health insurance costs. Plans were to open by Jan. 1, 2014. The latest from the city: “Staff continues to evaluate each of the four proposals received for a potential employee health clinic.” As of November, the city had 11,757 retirees, employees, spouses and dependents enrolled in its two health plans, an increase of 87 from earlier in the year. Insurance costs for the city: $62 million.
• The city office building at 100 N Walker Ave. flooded during a heavy rainstorm May 31, forcing employees from a number of departments into temporary quarters. Water that collected in a hole on the parking garage construction site next door produced enough pressure to blow out a 5-inch-thick concrete floor, filling the basement in a matter of minutes. Repairs were expected to cost $2.1 million to $2.3 million. Employees had been expected to return by the end of September. Now: “We expect city departments will move back into the 100 N Walker building in phases through the month of December.”
• The city planned to dedicate Bricktown Landing — a boat dock and trail connection linking Bricktown and the Oklahoma River — on Oct. 1. But the city needed the Union Pacific Railroad’s permission to open the landing’s channel and trails since they pass under a railroad bridge next to Interstate 40. Without the railroad’s permission, the city had to work a deal to open the landing for the Oklahoma Regatta Festival. Barricades then went up while the railroad reviewed the plans. The latest: “The city is making preparations for the grand opening of the Bricktown Landing in December 2013.” The city spent $3.8 million to build the Bricktown Landing.