A federal judge is pausing a lawsuit challenging the artist Christo's plan to suspend huge fabric panels over parts of the Arkansas River.
The "Over The River" project, scheduled for 2015, will string 5.9 miles of fabric over certain sections on a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.
Opponents say the project will be too disruptive to bighorn sheep in the area, local traffic, and fishing and river rafting businesses.
This week, a judge issued a stay on the suit filed by Rags Over the Arkansas River, or ROAR, while an appeals board of the Department of the Interior also considers the matter.
The judge also rejected the BLM's request to dismiss the lawsuit.
Christo's team hopes to start construction next year and exhibit Over the River in August 2015 for two weeks before dismantling the project.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has approved the project. Fremont County Commissioners have approved a permit.
Christo's team still needs permits from Chaffee County, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and eventually the State Patrol.
Christo and his late-wife, Jeanne-Claude, have said getting approval to erect their projects have been as much a part of their artwork as displaying them.
"The project is not something that happens overnight," Christo said. "It will grow with different points of view for or against the project. It will get people thinking of us, how things look great or not great. All that work to do the project is all our project."
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