Low-Water Dams

Allocation: $5,600,000.00
Status: In Progress

Summary Update:

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, as well as a Schematic Design and Cost Estimates Report (see RiverProjectsTulsa.info).  The United States Army Corps of Engineers used the technical information and cost estimates from that report in the preparation of the Feasibility Study.

A revised 404 permit application was submitted for the South Tulsa/Jenks site in January of 2016, and in April, a Public Notice for comments was issued. Additional agency consultations continued in 2018 and 2019.  Permit release by the USACE is expected by mid 2020.

The Arkansas River Corridor Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Investigation Draft Report for the Sand Springs area has been completed by the USACE and was made available for public review in February 2017. The Feasibility Study Determination for Sand Springs is complete and identifies a Federal Interest in a structured solution to the eco-system restoration identified for this area. Vision 2025 funds plus local funds are being utilized for the local share of the Preconstruction, Engineering & Design (PED) which began in the fall of 2020. This included geotechnical borings to confirm uncontaminated conditions near the Sand Springs superfund site.

$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.

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