PSO Paving Way For Tulsa Wave Park

Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is undertaking a series of improvements to the west bank of the Arkansas River near its Tulsa Power Station that will lead to the development of a white water recreation area to be called the Tulsa Wave Park.  Improvements will include grading and stabilizing a 150-foot section of the bank and the construction of a path and dock for kayakers to safely enter the water.
Work on the project will begin Nov. 14 and will take approximately 30 days to complete.
“With Oklahoma’s Centennial just a year away, we want to make this PSO’s gift to Oklahoma’s Centennial celebration,” said Bill McKamey, PSO vice president, External Affairs.  “Not only will this project provide recreation opportunities for white water enthusiasts, it will represent the first significant effort in Tulsa to promote west bank development and will lead the way for future efforts, such as those proposed in the Vision 2025 plan.”
McKamey notes that local kayakers have been encouraging and working with PSO for more than a decade to help enhance that area so that it can be better utilized, and possibly even draw regional and national kayaking events.
“People looking across from the east bank of the river may not know, but there is a roar of water along the west bank, just outside our Tulsa Power Station, “ said McKamey.  “The area is great because the waves are predictable, of a size the kayakers respect, and there are no obstacles to dodge.”
Dave Reid, a longtime kayaker and supporter of the wave park, agrees, saying it’s a dream come true for area white water paddlers.
“We’ve worked for years to get this one-of-a-kind water feature developed and protected,” said Reid.  “This unique sports feature will make Tulsa more attractive to outdoor oriented people, will be an excellent draw for people using the River Parks path and, hopefully, will become a destination spot for white water paddlers.”
Although construction will involve bringing in trucks and other heavy equipment, plans are to keep the west bank pedestrian and bike trail open for the entire 30-day construction period.  Warning signs with flashers will be posted on both ends of the project area.
Along with PSO, those who have been involved in the planning, permitting and development of the Tulsa Wave Park include: Tulsa kayakers, the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County Commissioners, River Parks Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa County Levee Commission and Sherwood Construction.
PSO, a unit of American Electric Power, is an electric utility company serving approximately 511,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.  Based in Tulsa, PSO has more than 4,000 megawatts of generating capacity.

Stan Whiteford
Corporate Communications

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