'The Gateway' Design Selected As Tulsa's New Pedestrian Bridge

Monday, June 5th 2017, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

After months of deliberation, voting, public feedback and committee discussion, the City of Tulsa has selected 'The Gateway' conceptual design as the winner for the new Arkansas River Pedestrian Bridge.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum made the announcement Monday morning at a news conference, announcing the city committee's selection after narrowing down finalists to just two earlier this month.

5/1/2017 Related Story: Two Finalists Selected For Tulsa Pedestrian Bridge Design

The conceptual design, submitted by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, is an arched bridge that will be built with a steel plate fabrication system and will make it the first bridge of its kind in the country, according to the city. 

Bynum said the bridge's final design received some minor modifications to include ideas submitted by public feedback, including the lack of shaded sitting areas on the original design. He said there will still be a few more modifications as the city moves forward with finalizing the design including lighting features and separate lanes for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The City of Tulsa received 233 submissions after its initial call for ideas for the replacement for the Arkansas River Pedestrian Bridge. A committee narrowed that down to 10, then four and then the final two contenders. 

The Selection Committee reviewed the submissions based upon three core criteria:

-Was the design iconic, but with Tulsa roots?
-Did the design complement its neighbors: The Gathering Place, River Parks, and the Arkansas River’s lake and whitewater flume?
-Was it focused on both pedestrians and bikers, and provide a safe, great experience both all users?

Voters approved spending $24.5 million to replace the current pedestrian bridge when they passed the Vision Tulsa bond issue last year.

The history of the current bridge is uncertain, with some accounts placing its construction in 1905. The city says 1917 but some say it wasn't built until the 1930s.