Oklahoma City Officials Plan To Open Bricktown Landing

Friday, April 18th 2014, 6:48 pm
By: News 9

A much-anticipated project connecting Bricktown to the Oklahoma River is expected to open up soon. All the work was completed last year, but a hang-up with the railroad company derailed the plans.

Oklahoma City says it's in the final stages of an agreement with the railroad to move back these road blocks and allow people to freely pass through.

"I think a lot of individuals might not realize the complexities of a project like this," said Oklahoma City engineer and public works director, Eric Wenger.

A project uniting Bricktown with the Oklahoma River Boathouse District has remained closed for months. It was expected to open last October, but was postponed due to dealings with a tunnel underneath I-40, Union Pacific Railroad and the city.

"But with three different agencies, obviously their interests are independent and all had to be coordinated. This is just one of those final co-ordinations that needs to take place to have the project completed," Wenger said.

10/1/2013 Related Story: OKC, Union Pacific Dispute Halts Bricktown connection To River

The city has to work out all the legal issues and liabilities concerning the pedestrian access bridge that lies underneath the railroad tracks and in between the canal and the Oklahoma River.

Union Pacific Railroad issued this statement saying:

"We are working with the city to finalize items related to insurance and striving to have agreements completed shortly."

With the walk-through to open soon, Bricktown businesses say they should see an uptick in foot traffic and a boost in the local economy.

"Every bit of opportunity for people to go back and forth is awesome," said Charles Stout, general manager of Bricktown Brewery for 21 years. "It's awesome for the businesses. It's awesome for the public as they come downtown, the more access, the better."

The city hopes to reach a final agreement with Union Pacific within the next few weeks.

"Everyone continues to see the expansion of OKC and the entire river corridor. This makes that strategic connection," Wenger said. "From Bricktown to downtown, making it a seamless transition, obviously a much anticipated project that's almost there."