BEND, OR -- Bend's Whitewater Park on the Deschutes River will open on schedule, despite recent rumors to the contrary. Chelsea Schneider with Bend Parks and Recreation says at one point, they were very optimistic on the opening. “We had, at the early part of this summer, hoped that we might be able to open it a little bit early. So that was kind of the end of August goal to be able to open up the channels. As we’re getting closer to the end of the project, we’re finding that there’s just quite a few things that need to be wrapped up so realistically we need to push that toward the middle of September for the true opening." That's still well ahead of the official November deadline for the project.
Schneider tells KBND, “The focus right now is to get the bridge rails installed. They’re installing what are called the cable rails - That’s the upper portion of the rails to protect bicyclists. And they are also installing the final parts and pieces for the pneumatic bladder which controls the river elevations and also can help shape the waves.” And vegetation along the new river bank is being planted.
A mid-September opening should still give floaters and kayakers a couple of weeks of use before irrigation flows drop.