Arkansas River: Contractor turning dirt (well streambed) for Cañon City whitewater park

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):

Local boaters teamed up in 2007 with the Canon City Chamber of Commerce to start the process of fundraising for the Whitewater Kayak & Recreation Park, dubbed by backers as “WKRP-Canon City.” As a huge excavator drove into the river Monday to start moving material, the ground breaking was a dream come true for organizers which included boaters, recreation, chamber and city leaders. “Work should be done by the end of March,” said Will Colon, chamber board member and WKRP-Canon City organizer. “We can have kayak competitions. People can come here to learn to kayak. Or you can come here just to eat lunch and watch the boats in a beautiful park-like setting.”[…]

The project will be located in the section of the Arkansas River that runs along Centennial Park and Depot Park between a historic pedestrian bridge and the new pedestrian bridge that is part of the Arkansas Riverwalk trail.

Residents will see the huge excavator on tank-like tracks working in the river to move the rock. The excavator was thoroughly cleaned for two days before it started work in the river. It uses environmentally friendly hydraulic fluid in the event of a leak. Currently, the water running by the park is flat and the banks are steep, so the banks will need to be reinforced and stabilized to allow gentle sloping river access. Wading pools will be added for water access for everyone — even children who want to cool off in the summer without fear of deep, swift water. Ramps plus play holes will be added for boaters such as kayakers, canoeists and rafters. The water park will be an ideal place for kayakers to learn the sport and boost their confidence by getting a feel for the water, officials say.

More whitewater coverage here and here.

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