Arkansas River

Our guest today on ST is Bill Leighty, executive director of the Smart Growth Tulsa Coalition, which was founded in 2014 as an organization "committed to creating healthy communities that work for everyone with strong schools, shops, and local businesses, improved mobility options, and jobs that pay well." A longtime Tulsa-based realtor and businessman who's been consistently active in community and professional development, and who has served on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission as well as the city's Transpor

After some 18 months and a previous series of public meetings, the Tulsa City Council's Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force now has a draft proposal for funding a series of low-water dams on the Arkansas River. The $298 million proposal calls for three new low-water dam sites as well as a rebuild of the existing Zink Low-Water Dam, a maintenance and operations fund to ensure upkeep of all these facilities, and money for levee rehabilitation. (The levees in Tulsa County have been deemed among the most at-risk in the U.S.) Our guest on ST is the chairman of this Task Force, G.T.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, as the new year gets underway, we take a look at this country's crumbling infrastructure. In doing so, we review the detailed findings of the latest "Report Card for America's Infrastructure," which is created every four years by the nonprofit American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

On this edition of ST, we welcome Robert J. LaFortune, a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Ann Patton, a locally based writer, activist, and former journalist. Patton has a new book out, for which LaFortune wrote the Foreword; it's a collection of essays on and photos of the Arkansas River, and it's called "The Tulsa River." But to what degree is Tulsa truly a "river city"? And are the age-old questions about riverfront development in this community changing -- or else taking on new meaning -- given the eventual creation of A Gathering Place on Riverside Drive?

City of Tulsa

Former Tulsa City Councilor Robert Gardner will be the Mayor’s Director of River Development. The focus will be on getting and keeping water in the river to encourage development along its’ banks. Gardner says he went to Mayor Bartlett several weeks ago and offered to help. He says one person with a total focus on the river should be able to help move things along.

Gardner, a city councilor from 1994-1998, will begin immediately and will not be paid for his work.

KWGS News File Photo

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Jeff Stava, a senior program officer for the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the project manager for the new, privately-funded, still-in-development public park known as A Gathering Place for Tulsa. The final design plans for the Riverside-based park (to be created on the site of the Blair Mansion) were announced Tuesday the 18th.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state senator from Enid is suing to stop a $25 million state bond issue to fund improvements to Tulsa's Zink Lake Dam.

Republican Senator Patrick Anderson filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Oklahoma County against the Oklahoma Capital Improvement Authority, Tulsa County, the City of Tulsa, Tulsa's River Parks Authority and others. He claims the use of a state bond issue on the project is unconstitutional and is asking a judge to prevent it.