from what i read and heard about the vail idea, the air bladders would attempt to concentrate the flow into the existing feature(s). the bladder would inflate, and re-direct the flow into the feature, instead of allowing water to spill off and around the edges. i thought there was a press release about the idea a while back, but i can't find it now.
IMO, the problem with the vail feature is the very small window of optimum flow. when there is enough water, the feature is great. when the water drops, then its gone. an air bladder may enlarge the window somewhat, but it will not fix the problem of not having enough water for the design of the existing feature. there are only two solutions: more water to the existing feature, or a different design with a larger flow window (and reconstruction).
i also think the stretch near the feature and bridges is challenged by floodplain issues. i would suspect that the floodplain in that area is very close to the buildings and patios on river left, and messing with water surface elevations to improve the operation of the features could cause flooding in those buildings during peak events. this may have been the reasoning behind the air bladders, as they could be deflated during peak flow and allow the water surface to drop to avoid flooding.
lots of stuff to deal with, just to get your surf on. later.