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). 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. A revised scope of services, schedule and budget for the Feasibility Cost Share Agreement was approved at the May 2015 Board Of County Commissioners meeting. The revised 404 permit application is anticipated to be submitted by the beginning of 2016. $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, Jenks/South Tulsa, and Bixby as the three 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. Bixby’s will be located approximately 4000 feet east of the Memorial Drive bridge, with a river-lake about 1.7 miles long. Zink Lake, after modifications to Zink Dam are complete, will be approximately 2.5 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 design, permitting and construction.