Tulsa park to get facelift

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 7/09/2013 10:02 am Published: 7/08/2013 5:04 pm

Tulsa's biggest festival park will soon be getting a facelift.

Riverwest Festival Park, home to Freedomfest and Oktoberfest, will undergo two phases of renovations starting this fall.

Plans show the old amphitheater and the old floating stage will be demolished. Officials said both got too outdated.

They will be replaced with a new, more modern sound stage.

That's just the beginning of the changes.

"I think that's a good idea. A floating stage was a nice novelty, but I don't think that's a necessity," said resident Paul Strahan.

Paul and Sue Strahan think expanding and upgrading the walking and biking trails is a necessity.

"And that way, the bikes will be separated from the walkers and the runners," said Sue Strahan.

That's going to be one of the first changes; as part of phase one of the project.

Phase one will also include a pedestrian bridge connecting two sections of waterfront trail.

Paul Strahan thinks outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the extra room to work with on their run or bike ride.

"Especially when they get the pedestrian area under the I-244 bridge, that will really increase the traffic over there," said Paul Strahan.

In addition to the new sound stage, as part of phase two, they will also upgrade all the utilities, which means getting rid of all the big green boxes.

"I'd like to see a bigger parking area: more space and free, of course," said Sue Strahan.

She said the lack of parking is the biggest thing that keeps her away from the park now.

"[Park] like 2 miles away or just risk getting your car all bumped up. It's a pain," said Sue Strahan.

But not for much longer. That will also be part of phase two -- much more parking along the north end of the park, along with a brand-new entrance area.

"It's just always been really popular. And I think the more you make it accessible, the more people come out, especially in the summer. It's just beautiful, " said Sue Strahan.
The total cost of the project is expected to be about $6 million and will be paid for out of the 2006 third penny sales tax.

The project is expected to get started shortly after this year's Oktoberfest.

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