6th and Peoria's ' big dig'

Thursday, November 17th 2005, 10:06 am
By: News On 6

If you travel on the eastside of downtown Tulsa, you can't miss all the excavation work going on in Centennial Park at 6th and Peoria.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells went to investigate the "big dig."

The big hole in the ground will, when it's done, be part of Tulsa's storm water detention system, but for those who know the project it will be much more than that. ..The thing is huge. I don't think many people understood how large this lake would really be. Developer Jamie Jamison: "Yeah, there's about fifty acre feet here which is the equivalent of fifty acres one foot deep."

Of course it compressed into a much smaller area, but it's big. Jamie Jamison's residential development is adjacent to the park and he's on the task force that helped develop the project. They started digging the hole last summer and the excavation company estimates they've hauled out about 10,000 truck loads of dirt so far.

Keith Berry is the project manager for Carter Excavation. He says the lake is only part of it; they're also digging a stream through the park. "There's a waterfall that dumps into the pond. At the upper end of the stream there's another waterfall." Big stone blocks will line parts of the lake and the stream.

The lake is more than neighborhood beautification Jamison says it will make downtown safer. "Because basically it's gonna take a lot of water that formally was flooding into the 6th Street neighborhood and into the Gunboat Park another residential district in downtown." And he says this park with its lake and stream will be a beautiful destination for Tulsans to enjoy.

The nearby senior center will be completed in February; the work in the park should be wrapped up the end of next summer. There's about half a million dollars worth of landscaping to be added when all the dirt is moved.