Fabric artist Christo is yet again pushing back the date for his "Over the River" project which proposes to hang 5.9 miles of aluminum coated fabric panels across a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.
Construction was to begin in 2012 for an exhibition date of August 2014, but Christo's team said that the new exhibition date is August 2015, according to 7News. For reasoning behind the new date Christo's team said that it was due to a delayed approval to allow the project from the Bureau of Land Management which shortened the 28-month construction schedule to 24 months. The later date also gives local authorities more time to deliberate on the project.
And given the concern of some environmental groups about the project's impact on local land and wildlife, local authorities may need more time. The Denver Post reports that at the Fremont County Board of Commissioners public hearing on Tuesday, one of the two remaining hearings on the project, 10 hours of opposition and support was taken into consideration as well as 575 letters.
In January, law students in the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the "Over the River" project. The DU law students filed the suit on behalf of Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR), a group that opposes the industrial scale art project due to what they claim are environmental issues and dangers to the residents and visitors of the proposed "Over the River" project area.
The Bureau of Land Management approved the project in November and is believed to be the first artwork to receive the BLM's approval through the drafting of a lengthy environmental impact statement. Christo is still awaiting approval from two local counties that would be impacted by the project as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation and the State Patrol.
This is not the first rescheduling of Christo's large-scale art project. It was originally slated for a 2001 debut then pushed back three more times to 2014, and now a fourth aiming at 2015.