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'Gathering Place' opening delayed to 2018 due to weather

A Gathering Place for Tulsa, a nearly 100-acre project along the Arkansas River, was supposed to open by the end of the year. But the company overseeing the project and the city of Tulsa have now announced a planned opening for spring/summer 2018. (KTUL)

The opening of a new Tulsa park has been delayed due to weather-related issues.

A Gathering Place for Tulsa, a nearly 100-acre project along the Arkansas River, was supposed to open by the end of the year. But the company overseeing the project and the city of Tulsa have now announced a planned opening for spring/summer 2018.

“The simple fact of the matter is our schedule is dependent on Mother Nature,” said Jeff Stava, executive director and trustee of Tulsa’s Gathering Place, LLC. “The record rains in 2016 and this year have negatively impacted both the park and city’s construction schedule. Plus, you add in the unseasonably warm winters, which have impacted the planting of the park’s almost 6,000 trees, and the result is a new opening timeline.”

The park's playground will open in January, but only for scheduled visits by elementary school children in the Tulsa area, according to a press release. Riverside Drive will re-open when the full park opens.

“We have been working hand-in-hand with the Gathering Place team and are pleased with the progress of the road and the park,” said Paul Zachary, City of Tulsa Director of Engineering Services, in a press release. “But public safety, efficiency and quality are our top priorities. So, leaving Riverside Drive fully closed protects the public from large construction equipment, eliminates the inconvenience of temporary lane closures and ensures our contractors can maintain their quality of work.

"This park is a tremendous gift to the city, and we know the public’s expectations will be surpassed when it comes to both access and in-park experiences.”

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