Residents Near Owen Park Upset Over 'Unacceptable' Repairs To Historic Bridge

Thursday, September 19th 2019, 7:24 pm
By: Erick Payne

People living near Owen Park in Tulsa say recent repairs to a historic bridge there are unacceptable.

The park was Tulsa's first, opening in 1910. The rustic stone bridge in Owen Park has been here for more than a hundred years. The Tulsa Preservation Commission says photos from the early 1900s show the four piers were originally topped with glass globes.

The bridge itself has withstood the test of time, but neighbors say repair work on it leaves a lot to be desired.

"They need to see if they can't find someone who can do a proper restoration," Yvette Wiley said.

Wiley grew up in the neighborhood.

"I went to junior high here. In ninth grade me and my girlfriends would come out here and eat lunch," Wiley said.

It's in a different condition now then it was back then though. After the recent repair, you can see where crews mismatched the mortar in between some of the stone. In other places, mortar is lacking completely.

Wiley says it's sloppy work for a bridge with a significant history in the park.

The city said they've had councilors and other city leaders come out here to follow up on the repair. They say there's no structural impact but everyone I've talked to, including the city, say there's an obvious aesthetic problem.

City leaders tell me the parks department is reassessing the repair... and talking to preservationists on the best way to restore the bridge.

They say it's because of the calls they've gotten, including from Wiley, who says she just hope it can all get fixed.

"I hope it's something I think they probably will - work with the people living in the area who are concerned about it and want the bridge repaired," Wiley said.


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