Oct 16, 2019

Pearl District to Build Storm Water Detention Pond

The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, held a public meeting to discuss the building of a Pearl District detention pond as part of the Improve Our Tulsa project.

The building of a Pearl District detention pond for a storm water detention project will reduce flooding downstream, said officials.

The City of Tulsa held a public meeting to discuss the building of a Pearl District detention pond for a storm water detention project, which officials say will reduce flooding downstream.

The detention pond would require the city to obtain more than 40 properties, according to News on 6. So far out of the 45 properties, the city has purchased 12 and is actively acquiring five. Three of the five properties are being possessed through eminent domain. 

City engineers said the new pond would prevent flooding on the BA Expressway and 49 buildings would be removed from a flood plain, 22 of them homes. In areas still in a flood plain, their levels would be reduced by 2 ft.

Officials say there are flooding issues downstream of this area because there is currently only one underground drainage structure that’s being overwhelmed. This area also flooded during the 1984 flood

"It improves flooding across the BA expressway, it improves flooding across many of the city streets –a lot of the downtown area," said Brooke Caviness, lead engineer of Stormwater Design for the City of Tulsa, to KTUL. "Give us a chance; work with us. We are doing two appraisals per property. We are offering the highest of the two appraisals. We are helping with moving expenses."

The project is partly paid for through the 2014 Improve Our Tulsa bond issue, which is a three-part project. Phase one was completed in the early 2000s, and the current phase for which the city is buying properties for now, Phase 2, is called the West Pond. 

No exact timeline is set on this phase of the project yet, but some homeowners in the area are concerned about giving their homes at the expense of this project.

"I want to see our Pearl polished. I want to see the Paul Harvey house saved. I want to see this historic neighborhood keep blossoming like it has. It has become a community to us," said one resident to News On 6

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