BEND, OR -- Construction of the Bend whitewater park is on schedule, that means we're closer to being able to use the stretch of the Deschutes currently undergoing a major makeover. Shifting the entire flow of the deschutes river is no easy task, but Brian Hudspeth, Construction Manager of the Bend whitewater park project, tells KBND they have done just that. "The Colorado Safe Water Passage project will come to and end, it will be completed late this summer. With that will be the new footbridge and the three river channels. Tthe habitat channel, the whitewater channel in the center and the safe passage channel on river left, as well as the new beach at McKay Park, which is open today."
For the time being, floaters upstream from the Colorado Dam still need to exercise safety when approaching the project. "People that are floating the Deschutes River right now, that put in upstream, can still take out and portage around the project like they've always done. They can put back in there at the beach at McKay and continue downstream to Drake Park."
Crews have completed a safe passage channel and a natural channel. They are now finishing the white water channel, which will be available to kayakers late this summer. At that time, upstream floaters will be able to continue down the safe passage channel. Improvements to Mckay Park, including a new public restroom, will be completed next summer.