City Temporarily Opens Bricktown Landing For Regatta Fest - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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City Temporarily Opens Bricktown Landing For Regatta Fest

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The city says a temporary compromise was agreed upon to allow tourists and athletes at the Boathouse District easy access to Bricktown businesses during the annual Oklahoma River Regatta Festival. The city says a temporary compromise was agreed upon to allow tourists and athletes at the Boathouse District easy access to Bricktown businesses during the annual Oklahoma River Regatta Festival.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Late Wednesday, Oklahoma City temporarily opened a pedestrian-river tunnel under a section of a Union Pacific railway and Interstate 40, amid a dispute between city and railroad officials.

The city says a temporary compromise was agreed upon to allow tourists and athletes at the Boathouse District easy access to Bricktown businesses during the annual Oklahoma River Regatta Festival. The event started Wednesday while business leaders expressed concern that thousands of festival participants would not be able to easily support Bricktown businesses.

News 9 first reported the city-railroad dispute on Tuesday.

The tunnel, which was scheduled to open Tuesday, will not be open for good until the railroad has a chance to inspect it, according to a Union Pacific representative. After businesses raised concern, the city now says the tunnel will open temporarily throughout the end of the weekend. Oklahoma City officials say the tunnel mix-up was caused from a breakdown of communication on Union Pacific's part.

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

"It would be nice to be able to jump on a canal boat … get over [to Bricktown] and unload and pick your restaurant where you want to go eat," Steve Griffin, vice president of operations at Pearl's Restaurant Group said. The group owns and operates Crabtown in Bricktown.

Instead of an easy walk, tourists will need to get in their cars … drive across on Lincoln Blvd., then search for parking.

Griffin says he usually sees a seven percent increase in sales during large-scale events. Bricktown Burgers owner Dick Parr sees a nice increase too, with a line out the door.

"There are some growing pains that go along with it … we know it will all be good in the future," said Parr.

The city will be forced to close the tunnel after the weekend festival until a long-term or permanent solution can be made.

The Regatta Festival will run through Sunday afternoon.

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