Four Finalists Picked For Tulsa's New Arkansas River Pedestrian Bridge

Monday, April 17th 2017, 2:32 pm
By: News On 6

The City of Tulsa says it received 233 submissions after its call for ideas for the replacement for the Arkansas River Pedestrian Bridge.

The committee set up to review the proposals narrowed the list to 10 semi-finalists and a panel of engineering consultants picked the four best candidates based on construction feasibility and cost.

The city says it received all kinds of proposals, including one from "a talented four-year-old artist." 

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?

The city is now seeking feedback from the public on the four finalists.

Give your feedback here.

Visit the City of Tulsa's page to view all four finalists.

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.

It was built to carry trains by the Midland Valley Railroad to service the booming Glen Pool oilfield. The railroad abandoned it in 1974, and the brand new Tulsa River Parks Authority then converted it to a pedestrian bridge over the next three years.

The Tulsa Tribune joined the fundraising process, selling inches of the bridge for $5.50 a piece. When it first opened as a pedestrian bridge, only the eastern half was open to pedestrians. It was finally completed in 1978.

The original plans for the conversion called for a tram to run on top of the bridge, but they never materialized. 

The city says the current bridge is structurally deficient and can't be saved.