Status report on Tulsa's pedestrian bridge over the Arkansas River

Thursday, August 12th 2004, 5:12 pm
By: News On 6

As Tulsa officials plan for future river developments, many people are wondering what's going on with the "first" big river development.

The pedestrian bridge has been closed for several months. For people who love to use it, the wait seems much longer. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg went to get a progress report.

At first glance, it doesn't look too promising. Because you see the big piece of plywood across the front and chain-link fence all around. But we're told that it's 95% done. Cyclist Dan Call has to choose sides when he makes his usual spin along the river, because the bridge closing makes it tougher to get over to the west side. "It was a good access point to get to the other side and I think it'll be great when it re-opens."

The pedestrian bridge is of course popular with much more than pedestrians. Cycling, jogging, bird watching, and fishing are also favorites.

"Well I think we're going to meet target deadline which is mid-September, we started in mid-March, so our 6 months out is mid-September." Jennifer Edwards with the RiverParks Authority says the project was always expected to take 6 months, but she says for some reason, the newspaper reported it would be finished in May.

In any event, she says all of the major parts are done, including all new wood on the decking and new metal beams underneath, plus repairs on cracks in the concrete piers. She says it was a big job.

The bridge was the granddaddy of the river improvement projects when there was a different Mayor LaFortune in office. Even after all these years, it's still arguably the most popular attraction down on the Arkansas River.