Tulsa Port Of Catoosa Brings Big Impact To Area

Tulsa Port Of Catoosa Brings Big Impact To Area

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa has a $300 million economic impact on this area every year, and people who run the port say Tulsa wouldn't be the same without it.

People may not think of Tulsa as a seaport, but the port says the waterway is able to connect Tulsa to the rest of the world.

"We're kind of hidden, and we don't want to be, want everyone to understand how valuable we are here in this area," says Sheila Shook. 

Sheila Shook is in charge of education at the Port.

She says more than 3,700 people are employed at Port of Catoosa and Inola through 70 companies.

Lots of products are shipped through the port, from wheat and soybeans to steel and fertilizer.

"Each one of the barges on our navigation system can hold 1,500 tons of cargo, which is the same as 60 semi-trucks, so economically, environmentally, it's a great way to ship certain kinds of products," Shook says.

One towboat at the port can push 12 barges, which is equal to about 720 semi-trucks, and there are 445 miles of water connecting the Tulsa Port of Catoosa to the Mississippi River.

Shook says Tulsa and the surrounding area wouldn't be the same without the port.

"We would not have the great manufacturing jobs, the oil and gas would not have stayed here, they would have gone down to Houston and to the gulf areas," she said.

She says the port is proud of the success in Catoosa, but they hope to one day bring river transport to Inola.

"To think about Oklahoma as global and international, to be a seaport in landlocked is really exciting when you start to think about how those things affect our economy here in Oklahoma and the great jobs that can be provided," Shook says.

The port will dedicate the new rail system at the Port of Inola on June 5.