- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A memo sent to the Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force estimates the cost to build or refurbish four low-water dams in the Arkansas River has risen by $80 million.

The latest estimate for the work on the dams is $266 million, up from the original estimate of $186 million, Tulsa World reported (https://bit.ly/YDYAPR ).

The total cost for the river project is now estimated at $300 million, including $34 million for levee system repairs.

City Councilor and Task Force Chairman G.T. Bynum said the news is frustrating but the additional costs reflect related work that must be done as part of the projects. It’s also hard to estimate costs because the design documents for three of four dams are 10 percent complete or less.

The estimates include construction of low-water dams in Sand Springs, south Tulsa/Jenks and Bixby and the refurbishment of Zink Dam in Tulsa. The new figures include estimates for stabilizing banks and environmental mitigation. They assume work will take place as late as 2020.

He previously said he hoped to have a funding package for voters to weigh in on as early as the spring, but he said Thursday it could be another six to 12 months before design work allows for more accurate estimates.

Bynum said he was embarrassed that incomplete facts were presented at the meetings.

“But getting this right for our community is more important than personal vanity,” he said. “So we will keep digging until we get the right answer, and we’ll keep the citizens of Tulsa involved every step of the way.”

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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