2 ORU Graduates Contribute To World-Renowned Tulsa Park

Sunday, September 1st 2019, 9:31 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

Tulsa's Gathering Place is about to mark one year since its opening, and it already has a list of big awards; from being named America's best new attraction, to The New York Times "Best Places to Visit.  News on 6 talked to two Tulsa engineers, behind the iconic tunnels next to the park. 

Josh Glesener and his family are regular visitors to Tulsa's Gathering Place. He also helped bring part of the park to life. 

"I am proud of it, I am proud to be a part of this, my daughter talks about it all the time when she comes here," Glesener told News on 6. 

Glesener and his co-worker Sean Estes are engineers and are both Oral Roberts University graduates.

Both men were also the brains behind the tunnels and overpasses that go across Riverside Drive. They did it by placing more than 180 shafts between the north and south tunnels. 

"You'll drill a hole and clean it out and put tubes for testing and put concrete in them and once it sets, they will come back and check on it using sound wave technology," said Glesener.

That sound wave technology was state of the art. It made the project become a job no engineer in the country wanted to tackle.

"Basically, this project was set to fail because of the testing," said Glesener. "The testing its purpose is to make you fail."

It was until these ORU grads stepped up.

"It's kinda funny, we were like oh okay we got to go to work now, but it’s a little bit scarier walking into this, but putting our stuff that we learned at ORU and our foundations, we put all that to great use," said Glesener.

The job was supposed to take six months, and they did it in four. The expected fail rate was 18 shafts. They only had 2 fail. 

"For us, our company built the foundations on these drill shafts so theses tunnels could be built. It took a lot of faith"  

America’s Best New Attraction had some of America's best builders behind it. The men take pride in their pillars that hold up the Tulsa icon. 

There are plans to remodel a bridge as an expansion of The Gathering Place, and the engineers tell me they would love to be a part of it if asked.