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City of Tulsa Seeks Citizen Input for New Arkansas River Pedestrian Bridge

Matt Trotter

The City of Tulsa opens to the public the process of designing a new pedestrian bridge over the Arkansas river.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said there have been good talks about the bridge with city engineers, River Parks and the Gathering Place.

"After hearing a lot of those discussions and seeing a lot of great ideas, I did not have faith in my own tastes to pick a design ... nor should I be picking that in a vacuum," Bynum said.

All Tulsans are welcome to submit ideas for the new pedestrian bridge to be built over the Arkansas River at Zink Dam. Any idea is welcome through April 7, with some requirements.

"They need to relate to the park and the natural surroundings in the area. It needs to be for a pedestrian bridge that's capable of also carrying cyclists. It needs to work within the budget that we have at the City of Tulsa to make the bridge happen," Bynum said.

The budget is $24.5 million, which voters approved in the Vision sales tax renewal.

The current pedestrian bridge, a repurposed railroad bridge, has stood for 100 years.

"The bridge that we build through this process, we should expect to be here for another 100 years, and it's important that when we're making decision that impact our community in such a visible way, we go through a process that does it the right way," Bynum said.

A selection committee including elected city officials, historical leaders, design experts, river corridor stakeholders and support staff will then narrow the field to three to six finalists. Those will be presented to the public for comment in mid-April, with a final selection by the committee coming at the end of April.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.