The Channels Project Flood Questions Addressed

Thursday, September 7th 2006, 11:28 am
By: News On 6

The Channels project proposal presented Wednesday calls for a low-water dam and a 40-acre man-made island in the middle of the Arkansas River between 11th and 21st Streets in Tulsa.

The group that came up with the idea, Tulsa Stakeholders Inc. says the island would create all kinds of new commercial and residential possibilities. But does it create a new flood risk? The News on 6 talked to the hydrologist, Tulsa Stakeholders Inc. hired to study the idea.

Steve Jacoby with the Benham Companies says it's the same sort of dam they built in Oklahoma City and on the Trinity River. He says the gates will be able to tilt down and lie flat on the floor of the river, so that they don't obstruct the river at all. "Now upstream of that, the river channel is relocated by moving it over to the west bank. So basically we're just moving the river if you will. So there is no change for capacity for zero flooding all the way through the overall design spectrum is what we've tried to achieve."

The US Army Corps of Engineers say there still needs to be a lot of study about the plan, including an environmental impact statement. They say that could take years.