Status: In Progress
The success of Zink Lake in Tulsa inspired this proposal for more in-river, low-water dams on the Arkansas River. Environmental data collection and studies have been completed for the river corridor that will be used to prepare the Programmatic Environmental Impact Study (PEIS) initiated in October 2012. Studies include hydrologic and hydraulic evaluations, water quality studies, bank stabilization needs, geotechnical testing, habitat evaluations and many others. Preparing the PEIS is the next major activity before beginning the engineering design and regulatory permitting process for the new low-water dams. The PEIS will take approximately 20 months to complete. The final 404 permit for Zink Dam improvements has been fully executed. $5.6 million of Vision 2025 funds has been allocated to this project, and these Vision 2025 funds will be used to match federal funding authorized for the river corridor projects. Other federal funds have been received to match Vision 2025 funds to perform the studies for the corridor.
The Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan has identified Sand Springs and Jenks/South Tulsa as the two high priority low-water dam locations to be initiated with Vision 2025 funds. The Sand Springs Low-Water Dam, to be located downstream of the SH97 bridge, will form a river-lake about 5 miles long, and the Jenks/South Tulsa Low-Water Dam will be located downstream of the Creek Turnpike bridge and will form a river-lake approximately 2.5 miles long. Zink Lake, after modifications to Zink Dam are complete, will be approximately 3 miles long. These low-water dams will enhance the Tulsa area’s most visible physical asset by creating a series of urban lakes within the river channel. The more consistent water levels in these river-lake areas will add to the river’s scenic beauty and diversity while also enhancing fishing and other water-based recreational activities. Vision 2025 funds will be used to match state and federal funds needed for project construction.