HomeNewsConstruction at Zink Dam resumes, Arkansas

Construction at Zink Dam resumes, Arkansas

Construction on the Arkansas River in Tulsa has resumed as the river continues to be transformed into Zink Dam. The construction workers are currently working on the west side of the river. The project had been delayed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pending an operating plan from the city however the River Parks Authority director, Matt Meyer, doesn’t believe the wait will affect the planned construction timeline of 28 months. Voters approved the new dam, which will replace the low-water dam near 29th Street on Riverside Drive, as part of the 2016 Vision Tulsa sales tax package.

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The US$48 million Zink Dam construction will include a flume for kayaking on the east end and form Zink Lake stretching to the I-244 bridge downtown. The director said he is most excited about the new dam being safer than its predecessor, which can have a deadly circulation effect on the downstream side. Recently, residents in Tulsa inquired about why the city is demolishing the pedestrian bridge over the Arkansas River and replacing it with a new structure. More than 1,600 people had signed an online petition asking the city to hold off on demolishing the bridge at approximately 29th Street and Riverside Drive and to instead seek an “official, impartial study” to determine whether it can be salvaged.

Voters, however, approved the new dam, which will replace the low-water dam near 29th Street on Riverside Drive, as part of the 2016 Vision Tulsa sales tax package. Brooke Caviness, Tulsa’s Lead Engineer for the Stormwater Design said “The lake itself will be available for use for kayakers. We’re adding a recreational flume on the east bank of the river. 1,000 feet long. It’ll have seven drops and pools for kayaking, surfing, you can even tube down the flume,” The other changes are happening beneath the water’s surface. Caviness said the new gates are replacing the current Zink Dam from 1982.

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