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Crews continue work on Zink Dam in Arkansas River

Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 08:08:15-04

TULSA, Okla. — As early as next summer, Tulsans could be enjoying a lake along the Arkansas River near the Gathering Place.

Ever since taxpayers approved a plan to improve Zink Dam, they’ve been working on changing the footprint of the river to add a lake and pedestrian bridge.

Kevin Williams lives near the river. He said he’s excited about all the changes coming to the area including a new lake.

“I’m happy about it, I think this will be a good thing for Tulsa to draw," Williams said. "We need something to draw in because this is a good place to live."

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Crews began construction on the new Zink Dam, lake, and pedestrian bridge in late 2020. After six years of planning, the $48 million project is getting close to completion.

“It’s taken us almost 60 years at this point but we are fulfilling the vision that people had after Keystone Dam was constructed to make this a river that is both safe from a flooding standpoint but also more usable for the people who live around it,” said Mayor G.T. Bynum.

Bynum is so excited about the plans, he posted a video on social media about the whitewater flume under construction on the river’s east side.

“I think this white water channel will create a really regional attraction for people who want to utilize it, and for those of us who may not be great kayakers, I think you’re gonna see a ton of people that are just gonna think it’s cool and wanna be on the shoreline or the island when it’s built," he said.

He said not only will the project be a tourist destination, but it will also reduce flooding because they are also constructing several small dams to help manage the river's flow. He said the city along with River Parks is researching what recreational activities should be included.

Bynum said the goal is to have to project finished and ready for people by next summer.

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