New look at potential pedestrian bridge over Arkansas River

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa city councilors were given a revamped look Wednesday at what will likely be the new pedestrian bridge over the Arkansas River.

The new bridge is expected to go over the Zink Dam and connect the Gathering Place to the west bank River Parks trails.

Councilors were told the bridge initially agreed upon was overbudget, and they had to go back to the drawing board.

The bridge, still called The Gateway Bridge, was presented by Jeff Stava on behalf of the Gathering Place.

The Gateway Bridge will replace the wooden bridge that residents have used for years and at one time carried train traffic atop of it.

The newly revamped bridge will be the first steel-plated arch bridge in the U.S., and it will have room for pedestrians, bike traffic and benches for people to enjoy the views of downtown Tulsa from the water.

Councilors expressed concern Wednesday that the bridge had no coverings on it to provide shade to users on hot, sunny days. Stava said there simply wasn’t money for permanent weather coverings in the bridge’s budget, but he was going to look into low-cost, temporary shade options that can be removed in high winds and severe weather and even can be removed on just nice weather days where shade is not necessarily needed.

The bridge will rely on LEDs to illuminate the structure and the path on top of it.

Instead of directly dropping off at the west bank, a partial loop-around path will allow for a gentle transition from the bridge to the existing trails.

The Gateway Bridge will not be straight across but it will arch towards downtown in a slight bowing shape.