Tulsa's River West Festival Park Reconstruction Centered Around Oktoberfest

Tuesday, January 13th 2015, 7:40 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Transforming the River West Festival Park is another construction project along the Arkansas River that is now underway.

Footage from Osage SkyNews 6 HD shows just about everything there has been demolished as crews are about to begin the reconstruction.

Since the close of Oktoberfest bulldozers have been on the job, clearing out everything to rebuild it for the next Oktoberfest.

The park is hardly recognizable because it's been scraped flat, and about the only thing left is the boat house.

That's going to stay, but the rest of the 17 acres is being rebuilt, making the park slightly larger and much better for the main attraction, Oktoberfest.

River West Festival Park Concept Design

The once a year festival is what the new park was designed around according to RiverParks Executive Director, Matt Meyer.

"Oktoberfest is our prime tenant, and we're trying to gear it around them. We don't want to lose an Oktoberfest," Meyer said.

He's confident the $5.5 million project will be done in plenty of time for that.

The new design adds bathrooms, an office, more parking, better landscaping and the infrastructure of electricity and water that's always had to be built then torn out each year after the festival.

"The electrical service for all those tents was the add-on to the add-on and you saw all these little green pedestals everywhere, well those go away and we have underground service,” Meyer said.

The long planned, and long delayed, project stops above the 100 year water line, so the old amphitheater seating will stay while the floating stage will go.

The River Trail is being rebuilt from the concrete plant, north, to Southwest Boulevard and it's to the new divided trail standard of River Parks.

The new park will have a larger performance area and a drop off area for big events.

“So a lot of it is infrastructure, it's not glamorous but it has to be done, and we do have some expanded parking as well, and a much improved entry area,” said Meyer.

The work was approved by voters in 2006 but the project was reconsidered several times by the city as river development plans changed.

Turns out, now, the timing is perfect to work with other trail and river improvements underway.