From Dry River Bed To Lakeside Community
The plan for river development in Tulsa starts in Sand Springs. That community is key to the plan for keeping water in the Arkansas River. It's important because a dam to be built in Sand Springs would regulate the water flow downstream in Tulsa. But, The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports, while it would do something for Tulsa, Sand Springs stands to benefit too.
A new dam in Sand Springs will make it a lakeside community.
"The conceptual drawing, it looks pretty nice," said JC Kinder Jr., Sand Springs Chamber president.
JC Kinder is the president of the Sand Springs Chamber, which has supported river development and the tax to pay for it.
"There would be a low water dam and pedestrian bridge so we would have access to both sides of the river," Kinder said. "The River Parks trails already come out and end out here so that would give us trails on the other side of the river as well."
The low water dam in Sand Springs would be the first dam built, because it would regulate the flow of the water downstream. The idea of a pedestrian bridge shows what is possible if voters approve the $280 million sales tax package.
The low water dam would transform what is now mostly riverbed into a five mile lake that would extend halfway to the Keystone Dam. The City of Sand Springs considers a lake right alongside the downtown an opportunity with almost unlimited potential.
"I think the opportunities are there for development on either side of the river," said JC Kinder. "I know some of the renderings showed a little marina next to the dam and you could have sail boats and fishing on the river, so I think recreational opportunities are good."
The 4/10ths of a cent sales tax would pay for the Sand Springs dam and pedestrian bridge, but so far none of the private money committed to the river plan has been committed to Sand Springs. However, Sand Springs is hoping the lake created there will bring in plenty of private investment.