The River Development Task Force was formed by a collaboration between the Mayor and the Tulsa City Council in April, 2012. The mission assigned to the Task Force was to identify “actionable” items that would optimize the development of the Arkansas River corridor within the city limits of Tulsa.

These are unfunded recommendations. River Parks does not have an official position on these recommendations at this time.


Primary recommendation:

1.Improve/renovate the Zink Lake dam at 31st street to increase and maintain water in the river in accordance with the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan previously approved by TMAPC, INCOG, Tulsa City Council, and the Tulsa County Commission.

Infrastructure Improvements:  

2.Develop a plan to relocate sewer lines and provide utilities as needed to support the proposed recreational activities at 31st street and Riverside Drive.

3.Develop a public/private partnership with the Creek Nation and other interested groups to develop and fund the proposed “South Tulsa/Jenks” dam and pedestrian bridge proposed and approved in the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan.

4.Hire a lobbyist/consultant to initiate discussions with the Corps of Engineers and federal officials to secure funding for the reconstruction of the Sand Springs dam, which was originally authorized by Congress in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA 2007).  Involve the City of Sand Springs and officials from Tulsa County.

Development opportunities:  

5.Develop a series of “small area plans” that define, locate, and capitalize on development “nodes” at major intersections along the river from 11th street to 121st street.

6.Investigate the potential for localized TIFF districts along the river corridor.

7.Purchase and/or encourage river-compatible uses of all private land within the river corridor from county line to county line.

8.Coordinate with, and encourage, the Eugene Field neighborhood small-area planning team to consider potential amenities for, and needs of, the river corridor as it passes through the planning area currently being reviewed.

9.Identify the historic “Gano’s River Crossing” by signage and nominate it to the National Register of Historic Places.

10.Complete the planned Route 66 “Experience” Center at 11th and Riverside.

11.Repair the 11th street bridge to enhance the Route 66 experience and allow pedestrian access.


12.Consider purchasing land (currently for sale) at Denver and Riverside (known as the Denver Park Apartments) for development of a multi-level municipal parking facility.

13.Add as much 60 degree angled parking along the west side of Riverside Drive from 11th street to 17th street as is possible without removal of any healthy, mature trees.

14.Evaluate the potential for additional parking under and adjacent to the 21st street bridge on Riverside Drive and move the RPA trail to the river’s edge to avoid cross traffic.

15.Work with ODOT to determine the feasibility of developing parking areas under and adjacent to the new I-44 bridge at 51st and Riverside Drive, as well as any other elevated freeways within the river corridor.

16.Determine the feasibility of a new pedestrian bridge at 41st street to connect with underutilized city-owned land on the west bank and increase options for trail users.

Riverside Drive:  

17.To improve public safety, purchase residential properties that front on Riverside Drive (especially at major intersections) as lots become available. Subsequently, remove the structures and reforest the properties.

18.Schedule previously funded repairs to Riverside Drive and Crow Creek to coordinate with proposed plans being developed by GKFF.

19.Work with INCOG and MTTA to implement a municipal transit system along Riverside Drive.  Include bus stops located out of traffic at each of the major intersections for the entire length of the Drive.

River Parks:  

20.Work with RPA and the Creek Nation to finalize negotiations on a plan to relocate the river trail away from Riverside Drive at the Creek Nation Casino property at 81st and Riverside.

21.Evaluate the potential for a “land swap” with the privately owned concrete plant on the west bank at 23rd street to gain additional riverfront land for development of the River West Festival Park.

22.Participate in the “urban wilderness” concept that area donors are interested in developing on Turkey Mountain by offering to lease adjacent city owned land to RPA.

23.Provide adequate funding and transfer maintenance and oversight of the Midland Valley trail to RPA.

24.Facilitate trail renovation and right-of-way expansion along the existing eagle preserve from the Creek Nation Casino to 96th street by allocating corresponding acreage in Cousins Park for use as habitat replacement.

 25.Define and implement odor control for the existing wastewater lift stations along the river trails.

26.Encourage, support, and help plan a pedestrian connection along the banks of Crow Creek from the River Parks trail to Peoria Avenue.

27.Evaluate all major trees located on public property along the river corridor and develop a plan for long term care, pruning, and maintenance.

28.Negotiate a long term lease with ODOT for the (recently improved) Midland Valley railroad right-of-way east of Riverside Drive.

29.Assist RPA in acquiring right-of-way along the west bank of the river from 71st to the city limits of Jenks.

30.Our final recommendation is to task the River Parks Authority with the responsibility to establish a River Corridor Coordinating Committee to provide oversight, help coordinate efforts, disseminate information, and minimize confusion.

Task Force Members

Herb Fritz, Chairman
Seth Erkenbeck
Joe Robson
Jeff Stava
Rick Westcott