Tulsa, Jenks Dam project gets $16.2 million federal grant

TULSA, Okla. — The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the Tulsa area will receive a $16.2 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant.

The money will go toward a trail system in conjunction with the South Tulsa/Jenks Dam project. The City of Tulsa, City of Jenks, INCOG and the Muscogee Nation have been working together to fund the project, which includes an enhanced multi-modal trail system and intersection improvements to connect the east and west banks of the Arkansas River.

Mayor G.T. Bynum, who has been a longtime advocate of Arkansas River development, said the RAISE Grant marks an historic moment for Tulsa.

“This is incredibly exciting news, as we continue to move toward the construction of a second lake within the Arkansas River corridor in Tulsa,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “I am thankful the U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes the transformative impact this project will have. This moves us one step closer to realizing a dream Tulsans have had for over 50 years and is yet another reminder of the better city we can build when we work together.”

“As a former mayor, I understand that these types of projects get done when everyone works together.” said Senator Jim Inhofe, who played a part in the application.

The RAISE project will separate bicycles and walkers from street traffic on both sides of the river.

It includes several sustainable projects, such as low-impact development to protect water resources, electric-vehicle charging stations and a land buffer along the river to reduce erosion.

The west bank connection will connect the City of Jenks with other trails on the west side of the river and to Tulsa and the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness.

“This grant is the result of a strong regional partnership. These funds will allow us to build a trail system that connects Jenks, Tulsa and the Muscogee Nation communities,” Jenks Mayor Cory Box said. “Our region’s investments in the Arkansas River will pay dividends for generations to come.”

In 2016, both Jenks and Tulsa residents passed Vision Tulsa ballot measures to invest in the Arkansas River by building a south Tulsa and Jenks dam.

The Tulsa-Jenks Multi-Modal Safety project is planned to begin survey, design, and engineering efforts between early 2024 through late 2025, with construction beginning in mid-2025 and a scheduled completion by mid-2027.