The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
Mayor G.T. Bynum and the Bridge Selection Committee unveiled the winner of the Arkansas River Pedestrian Bridge design challenge at a news conference today “The Gateway” is the conceptual design winner.
Submitted by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), The Gateway is an arched bridge with an elegant and timeless design that will serve as an iconic centerpiece along the Arkansas River and complement the neighboring Gathering Place. The Gateway will be built with a steel plate fabrication system, which will make it the first bridge of its kind in the United States.
MVVA also added a variety of new amenities to the original concept based on feedback received by Tulsans. The new concept features a variety of shading structures and sitting areas, lighting features and separate lanes for bicyclists and pedestrians.
“The bridge selection process was truly a united effort by the community – from the creative individuals who submitted designs by the hundreds, to the thousands of citizens who provided essential feedback and to the Selection Committee for their hard work and diligence at every step of this process,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “Through the use of Vision Tulsa funds and by working together collectively, we are continuing Tulsa’s civic legacy of building a more beautiful city for the next generation.”
“KKT Architects and MVVA made the final decision incredibly difficult as both concepts were world-class designs. MVVA’s revisions to their original proposal in response to the public feedback process have produced a final design that will stand the test of time as a Tulsa landmark,” Bynum added.
On March 20, the City started a public process seeking conceptual bridge designs as the existing bridge could not be salvaged due to structural deficiencies. The City received 234 responses from individuals across the country and four designs were sent to the public for feedback. From more than 14,000 comments received, two designs were selected to move forward and the respective architects were given 30 days to make adjustments to their concepts based on public feedback.
With a final conceptual design selected, the City will begin developing a complete design and engineering plan for The Gateway bridge. Construction is expected to begin in 2018. Funding for the construction of the pedestrian bridge was prioritized in Vision Tulsa’s funding schedule to ensure all of the City’s resources for its design and construction would be available immediately.
About Vision Tulsa Vision Tulsa, an $884 million sales tax renewal package approved by voters in 2016, will make substantial investments in economic development, education, public safety, streets and transportation needs citywide. With citizen priorities providing the driving force behind the creation of Vision Tulsa, transformative projects and enhancements will set the stage for a bright future for Tulsa.
Vision Tulsa promises the investment of more than $140 million in the Arkansas River corridor alone. Plans include the creation of a lake in the Arkansas River, the replacement of Zink Dam, a variety of levee and design improvements and the construction of a new iconic pedestrian bridge that will replace the aging pedestrian bridge that stands today.