Tulsa Route 66 Commission Looks to Push Forward Work on Cyrus Avery Bridge

May 14, 2019

Credit Tulsa County

The Tulsa Route 66 Commission thinks now could be the time to move ahead with plans to save a major landmark.

Earlier this year, the commission proposed repurposing the more than 100-year-old Cyrus Avery Bridge as a pedestrian and event space.

"Cyrus Avery Bridge is the whole reason that Route 66 came through Tulsa, so it’s easily the single most important asset that we have that is authentic Route 66," said Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith.

At last guess, work could cost up to $23 million, but that estimate is several years old.

City Councilor Jeannie Cue said there are enough councilors on the Route 66 Commission that they could get a new engineering survey included in the Improve Our Tulsa renewal if it’s seen as a priority.

"We’re listening to the residents, and I think as we go out to these meetings or as they send in their suggestions, the more we get response to put that in from our citizens, the more important it becomes on the list," Cue said.

Commission members guessed a new engineering survey could run around $1 million.

A majority of the council is on the commission, with Cue joined by Councilors Crista Patrick, Kara Joy McKee, Cass Fahler and Connie Dodson.

Keith, who also sits on the Route 66 Commission, said now is a perfect time to update the estimate and go after state and federal funding to help pay for work.

"Our lieutenant governor definitely has an interest in seeing the bridge preserved, and so we ought to leverage that and try to get it done," Keith said.

The City of Tulsa has spent around $600,000 on stabilization work and replacing some features with historically accurate replicas. The bridge is on the city's capital improvements list as an unfunded project, meaning it is not in line for additional funding soon.