Bond Will Fund River Improvements

Gov. Brad Henry has signed into law a bond package that will fund construction of low-water dams in Sand Springs and Jenks.
The bond, which is expected to spur the economic development of the Arkansas River in Tulsa County, includes $75 million for river development, including $25 million for low-water dams. The bond also includes money for the renovation of the Zink Lake dam.
Congress has authorized an additional $50 million, subject to future appropriation, for river projects as part of the federal Water Resources Development Act.
The vision of a low-water dam began with funds included in the Tulsa County Vision 2025 package. But last year, voters rejected a countywide sales tax that would have funded full construction.
“The development of the river was always challenging,” Henry said.
“It’s really miraculous,” said Sand Springs City Manager Doug Enevoldsen. “If you were to go back about six months in time, it couldn’t have been envisioned.”
City officials hope the low-water dam will spur economic development along the river. “What’s good for Tulsa is good for Oklahoma,” Henry said.
Sand Springs officials hope the creation of the dam will flourish along with coming development in the Keystone Corridor area, now known as River City Crossing, to bring an economic renaissance to the community.
“This is one of those days we’ll look back on 10 years from now, and we’re going to be amazed at the progress and transformation to our community,” Sand Springs Mayor Bob Walker said.
Dam construction is likely to begin in a few years and will create a “lake” stretching from Sand Springs to the Keystone Dam.

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