Tulsa to receive $16.2 million grant for pedestrian/mobility project

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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that the Tulsa area will receive a $16.2 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant, which will create a multimodal 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 South Tulsa/Jenks Dam 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 and chaired the Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force in 2016 as a Tulsa City Councilor, 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. “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.”

The RAISE project will separate bicycles and pedestrians from motorized vehicular traffic on both sides of the river to provide safe travel conditions.

The remainder of the project consists of three main components:

  • East Bank connecting trail that will make significant repairs, additions, and upgrades to the trails along the east bank of the river.
  • The West Bank Connection will focus on connecting the City of Jenks with other trails on the west side of the river and to Tulsa, and the popular Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness.
  • The construction of intersection modifications to create pedestrian refuges, marked crosswalks for active transportation users at eight intersections, pedestrian signal heads, ADA ramps, and buildout the sidewalk gaps to safely connect neighborhoods to the river trail system.

In 2016, both Jenks and Tulsa residents passed Vision Tulsa ballot measures to invest in the Arkansas River by building a South Tulsa/Jenks Dam. The dam is expected to have a major economic impact along this stretch of the Arkansas River. With the multimodal trail system funded, officials are very close to closing the loop on funding for the South Tulsa/Jenks Dam project.

“I was proud to support this infrastructure grant to further cultivate an environment for commerce in the communities of Tulsa and Jenks. As an entrepreneur, I understand how creating high traffic destinations facilitates greater economic development and job growth for our citizens,” Congressman Kevin Hern said.

“For 50 years, city leaders have envisioned developing two lakes in our river. South Tulsans have always supported these efforts, and finally we are on the cusp of completing this goal approved by voters in 2016,” District 8 Tulsa City Councilor Phil Lakin said. “This project will give us unlimited opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, exercise, and gather as a community. I couldn’t be more grateful for this grant or happier for the residents of Tulsa."

“This major grant is a huge step forward in implementing our communities’ shared regional vision of safely connecting neighborhoods and communities as envisioned in our Regional Trails Master Plan, the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan, and Tulsa and Jenks voter approved Vision funding programs,” INCOG Executive Director Rich Brierre said.

“The grant funding, along with local matching funds provided by the City of Tulsa, City of Jenks, and INCOG, will extend and improve the river trail system, the backbone and crown jewel of our regional trail system. Additionally, the project will eliminate sidewalk gaps and improve traffic safety along the Riverside Drive corridor.”

“These funds are a blessing, and this project will be a wonderful addition to economic development, tourism, and quality of life in Tulsa,” District 2 Tulsa City Councilor Jeannie Cue said. “I’m so thankful for those who worked hard on this project and obtained this grant for our City."

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.

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