TULSA, Oklahoma - The City of Tulsa has decided to replace the recently demolished bridge at 56th and Harvard with a four-way traffic light.

And though some runners and walkers did use the bridge, many believe the city needs to go with whatever option is the safest for students.

"When I was little they actually had someone who was hit by a car and passed away and that's originally why I think it went up," said Runner Mark Gilbert.

Gilbert says he used to run over the pedestrian bridge to cross Harvard when it was open, but now that the bridge is gone he has to wait a few extra minutes to cross the street during his afternoon jog.

"This time of day is difficult as school is getting let out and there’s a lot of traffic backed up and certainly at five when I would normally go it would be worse," said Gilbert.

After the bridge was deemed structurally unstable in July, the city did a traffic study to see how many people used the bridge before they decided whether or not to rebuild it.

"The day that they were doing traffic counts there were zero pedestrians using it," said Transportation Rehabilitation Director Maranda Davis.

Davis says the city worked with Tulsa Public Schools and realized many students weren't using the bridge because Harvard is the dividing line between two elementary school boundaries. The city also would've had to make the bridge ADA Compliant which would cost the city even more money.

"It was going to be around 3-4 million dollars and that’s just a ballpark preliminary estimate," said Davis.

Davis says the ADA Compliant traffic signals are only going to cost the city about $300,000.  And even though waiting to cross the road may add time on to Gilbert's run, he says the city needs to do whatever is best for the kids.

"When I was around it seemed like the kids were using it a lot. Seems like it would be the safest way to get them across," said Gilbert.

The City of Tulsa says they will begin construction on the traffic light next summer.

 

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