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BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Recreation's Board of Directors will vote Tuesday whether to reopen the Passageway Channel at its Whitewater Park. That portion of the park was closed in early June after many users complained it was too rough for floaters. 

 

Julie Brown, with the parks and rec district, tells KBND News water flows have been reduced. "We've been operating the passageway channel at those recommended water flow conditions since early June. Some people can even visually see it's a different amount of water flowing through there. And then, we took the next step of having some user testing take place in the Passageway Channel, and we got a lot of really positive feedback from folks who felt it was a different experience and it was an improved experience."

 

She says the district also installed signs warning people about what to expect. "We know that river users need to have a better understanding of what that experience is going to be like. So, we've worked quickly to improve signage that people can see at the beach locations. We're also working on additional website information, video."

 

But, Brown says they are still considering more improvements, which could make the surface smoother for floaters. "With the additional educational aspects that we have in place and the operations, we're comfortable recommending a reopening of it, while we are still considering design and engineering recommendations that we've received from the engineers that would, at the soonest, take place when we get into low-water conditions in the fall and winter."

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