Federal Aid Approved For Tulsa River Parks

Thursday, July 18th 2019, 8:35 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The federal government has agreed to help River Parks with repair after recent flooding.

They won't pay for all of the damage, but possible most of it, and make some improvements to the park.

The Arkansas River's water is still high but lower than it has been lately. 

River Parks now estimates flood damage at $8 million, but the cost of repairs and better protection could end up being much more.

The biggest cost is for increased bank protection, like they've already done by the 11th Street Bridge. Most of the bank is natural and vulnerable when the river flow is high and fast. There's also a risk the bank will collapse when the water drops.

Also Read - Federal Disaster Assistance Approved For 41 Counties

River Parks Director Matt Meyer said the most critical points are places where buildings or trails are closest to the water, like the 41st Street Plaza, where the fountains are closed because high water damaged the pumps.

The FEMA approval means the federal government will pay up to 75 percent of the cost for hazard mitigation projects that would prevent, or reduce risk, to life and property.

Because it could take a long time to get the federal money, River Parks will delay some improvements to apply the money toward repairs.

“We're having to redirect that money to flood damage, in hopes of getting reimbursed and then we hope to get to those other projects later on,” said Meyer.

The trail still has some dips and is being repaired. Private groups are working on repair projects, like the Tulsa Rowing Club, who lost their dock in the flooding and recovered it in pieces downstream from the river. 

Related Story: City Estimates Nearly $8 Million Needed To Repair Tulsa River Parks After Flooding