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March 05, 2021, 07:37:53 am
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Author Topic: Pedestrian Bridge  (Read 55750 times)
Arkansas Rio Gator
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« Reply #240 on: December 03, 2020, 10:21:26 am »

LandArchPoke, I love your thoughts and also two-bridge solution you mentioned (not quoted here). Your basic read on this situation is correct, seems to me. Please speak out more on this issue. Without an urgent push for reevaluation of options there is no chance.

I wonder if this is really true that it's in fear of collapse or it that's been a 'spin' put on it to push for the new bridge. No doubt there is deferred maintenance on the old bridge that needs to be fixed and I could be wrong, I haven't dug into the history of this much, but I was thinking the main obstacle to keeping the old bridge was that the piers would not support making it a double deck bridge and that modifications to the bridge to facilitate more capacity was far too expensive and we should just build new for that reason. I didn't think the bridge was ever in such poor condition it couldn't be kept in its current fashion for a while. The powers that be just wanted a bigger and nicer bridge that could have separated bike lanes and then an area for pedestrians.

Someone who has read through it could probably answer this, but did the HNTB report just talk about keeping the bridge the way it is and just transferring to new piers or did it go on to discuss that the new piers would allow for the bridge to be modified to a double deck situation that was wanted? Browsing through it this wasn't apparent to me at least.

Even if the piers needed major restoration for safety reasons - why not build a smaller new bridge just for bikes, runners, etc. and then fix the piers on the current bridge, add some new lighting to make it look better at night, etc. and then we solve several of the issues at hand. Seems like the money saved on slightly scaling down the new bridge could possibly pay for repairs to the old bridge to keep it acceptable for pedestrian use.

Seems like there is some solutions out there if the city and others wanted to make it happen, just not sure if they really do. Seems like the entire point of building new has completely evaporated with no shade, seating, and not really having proper spacing between pedestrians and bikes.

We're just getting a crappy version of a new bridge that will have worse functional utility than the old bridge just for vanity purposes to have a bridge designed by MVVA. 
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Arkansas Rio Gator
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« Reply #241 on: December 03, 2020, 10:21:55 am »

From today's paper:

https://tulsaworld.com/opinion/letters/letter-to-the-editor-dont-demolish-pedestrian-bridge/article_d441a2b4-31f1-11eb-89a6-c739b54bf1a4.html?utm_campaign=snd-autopilot&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_Tulsa_World_Opinion&fbclid=IwAR0eUSn07zKweDHaGhhJYAgyKv0211AEHzhkl1qM8azC_dAI5PR6NhCL_7E
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« Reply #242 on: December 05, 2020, 12:18:24 pm »

SXSW:

"I agree with this in theory....The new bridge will be built north of the existing bridge."


Two bridges… More people are saying this. It could work. And could be made to work thematically, too.

We could have the “Gateway” bridge and also the “Gateway to the Past” leading to the original bridge.

Sure, there would have to be some adjustments to the current plan. But such adjustments would not hurt anyone, and would be well worth it, in the long run. Our best and brightest can come up with the necessary adjustments, and then we could ALL have the benefits of the new plans as well as the benefits of the original bridge. This is one good solution to the new vs. original argument: Both!

Furthermore, from the financial point of view, private donors would surely step up to rehabilitate the original bridge for fully functional use (at a minimum, some new railing ;] It is just that beloved.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 12:22:45 pm by Arkansas Rio Gator » Logged
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« Reply #243 on: December 07, 2020, 02:10:04 pm »

This would taking hoarding to a new level.
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Conan71
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« Reply #244 on: December 09, 2020, 06:59:56 pm »

This would taking hoarding to a new level.

You won the internet for the month. 

We would have a growing collection of structurally-deficient bridges for certain.  Tulsa could become the "Obsolete Bridge Capital Of The World." it's another great tourism scheme.

If anyone read the entire article the estimate to repair the old bridge is $20 plus million.  I have fond memories of the old bridge dating back to the early raft races, but maybe I'm just not sentimental enough about it.  Wreck it.
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LandArchPoke
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« Reply #245 on: December 09, 2020, 08:37:32 pm »

You won the internet for the month.  

We would have a growing collection of structurally-deficient bridges for certain.  Tulsa could become the "Obsolete Bridge Capital Of The World." it's another great tourism scheme.

If anyone read the entire article the estimate to repair the old bridge is $20 plus million.  I have fond memories of the old bridge dating back to the early raft races, but maybe I'm just not sentimental enough about it.  Wreck it.

Question is that $20 million figure to repair the bridge as is, or is that figure the 'repairs' needed to make it a double deck bridge. Two very different options.

Just my opinion on the situation but I'd far prefer us keep the old bridge as a non double deck option as a primarily pedestrian crossing given it has shade. If the new bridge was going to be built as promised I'd have far less of a problem and wouldn't think a revaluation was needed.

Given that's not how it's gone, I do hope that some at the city stop and ask the question of what other options might we have? Like something I mentioned to maybe scale down the new bridge further and move it further north where the northern stop light is and offers a middle crossing between the old bridge and 21st. It also preserves the ability for pedestrians to walk out on the river without being cooked. Have pedestrians only on the old bridge and a scaled down version of the new bridge further north for bikes/faster users only.

I have an issue with us spending so much money on a design that's more of a vanity project that's tax payer funded where we've had to cut out every amenity to the bridge (shade, benches, proper width, etc.)

Maybe we need to redesign it to a simpler bridge which doesn't look as pretty but has far better utility - which is supposed to be the sole purpose of the bridge anyways. I have a problem with us spending tax payer money on a design like this that isn't needed (coming from someone who has degrees in this field) and ignores the purpose of needing a new bridge in the first place (separated bikes/pedestrians, better shade, sitting areas, etc.).

The first priority should have always been how to do pay for the things needed, and if we couldn't afford the fancy design from MVVA then they should have raised money for that part... not the other way around. It's a complete bait and switch and feels like a kick back to the landscape architect via us. We shouldn't be in the situation where we're being told oh we'll fundraise for benches and shade at some point in the future... that just shouldn't be acceptable. This new bridge also does not appear to even provide better separation of bikes/pedestrians which was supposedly the biggest driver of why the old bridge couldn't be repaired. That the only option to provide that was this very costly double decking of that bridge which would require significantly different reconstruction of the piers and structural supports. Seems like BS to me honestly.

At the very least it should be vetted publicly further given we aren't getting what was promised to us in the first place, I feel the city leadership does have a duty to show this really is the best thing to do, instead of the vibe of 'just trust us, blah blah' that we've gotten from the city. There's very valid questions that can be asked and thought on that in the end will be better for everyone.

For analogy purposes this entire thing seems like we're getting a BOK Center exterior design (starchitect) with the old Ford Center interior... kind of backwards. Imagine if we had done that. The reason why the BOK Center was worth it is because we did it right and purposely designed to be a superior arena for concerts compared to other regional venues. We are not doing the pedestrian bridge right currently. I'd by far rather have a Ford Center exterior and a BOK interior... the thing that actually matters to people who are using it and not just a fancy exterior for an Instagram picture.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 12:06:28 am by LandArchPoke » Logged
Conan71
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« Reply #246 on: December 09, 2020, 09:18:14 pm »

Question is that $20 million figure to repair the bridge as is, or is that figure the 'repairs' needed to make it a double deck bridge. Two very different options.

Just my opinion on the situation but I'd far prefer us keep the old bridge as a non double deck option as a primarily pedestrian crossing given it has shade. If the new bridge was going to be built as promised I'd have far less of a problem and wouldn't think a revaluation was needed.

Given that's not how it's gone I do hope that some at the city stop and ask the question of what other options might we have? Like something I mentioned, maybe scale down the new bridge further and move it further north where the northern stop light is and offers a middle crossing between the old bridge and 21st. It also preserves the ability for pedestrians to walk out on the river without being cooked.

I have an issue with us spending so much money for a vanity project that's tax payer funded where we've had to cut out every amenity to the bridge (shade, benches, etc.)

Either that or our city leaders need to have a very serious discussion on the utility of the bridge and what's really important. Maybe we need to a simpler bridge which doesn't look as pretty but have far better utility in which is the sole purpose of the bridge. I have a problem with us spending tax payer money on a design like this that isn't needed (coming from someone who has degrees in this field) and ignores the purpose of needing a new bridge in the first place (separated bikes/pedestrians, better shade, sitting areas, etc.).

The first priority should have always been how to do pay for the things needed, if we couldn't afford the fancy design from MVVA then they should have raised money for that part... not the other way around. It's a complete bait and switch and feels like a kick back to the landscape architect via us. We shouldn't be in the situation were we're being told oh we'll fundraise for benches and shade at some point in the future... that just shouldn't be acceptable. This new bridge also does not appear to even provide better separation of bikes/pedestrians which was supposedly the biggest driver of why the old bridge couldn't be repair. Seems like BS to me.

At the very least it should be vetted publicly further given we aren't getting what was promised to us in the first place to be shown this really is the best thing, instead of the vibe of 'just trust us, blah blah' that we've gotten from the city. There's very valid questions that can be asked and thought on that in the end will be better for everyone.

I always respect and look forward to reading your development opinions and your contributions here.

A pedestrian bridge in this location is a vanity project whether it's a new bridge or pouring $20m into something nearly as old as the very city itself which has structural and liability issues.  The pedestrian bridge is purely recreational with the exception of a small number of commuters using it, I did when I'd ride my bike to work in west Tulsa, but it's not like there was a huge throng of us commuting back and forth daily that we can say commerce really benefitted from it. 

I get the idea of public input on a final product for the bridge, but is anyone really going to remember in 20 years that there was any controversy revolving around pedestrian bridges?  Maybe I'm too far removed from the daily happenings in Tulsa and my thoughts are the citizens of Tulsa have been given a $350 million park and now people are sounding a bit ungrateful about a nice accoutrement to the park in the form of a bridge.  I'm pretty sure any shortfalls out of V-2025 funding or whichever pot this came from will be underwritten by GKFF and some of his close associates.
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Arkansas Rio Gator
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« Reply #247 on: December 09, 2020, 10:22:56 pm »

Question is that $20 million figure to repair the bridge as is, or is that figure the 'repairs' needed to make it a double deck bridge. Two very different options.

Just my opinion on the situation but I'd far prefer us keep the old bridge as a non double deck option as a primarily pedestrian crossing given it has shade. If the new bridge was going to be built as promised I'd have far less of a problem and wouldn't think a revaluation was needed.

Given that's not how it's gone I do hope that some at the city stop and ask the question of what other options might we have? Like something I mentioned, maybe scale down the new bridge further and move it further north where the northern stop light is and offers a middle crossing between the old bridge and 21st. It also preserves the ability for pedestrians to walk out on the river without being cooked.

I have an issue with us spending so much money for a vanity project that's tax payer funded where we've had to cut out every amenity to the bridge (shade, benches, etc.)

Either that or our city leaders need to have a very serious discussion on the utility of the bridge and what's really important. Maybe we need to a simpler bridge which doesn't look as pretty but have far better utility in which is the sole purpose of the bridge. I have a problem with us spending tax payer money on a design like this that isn't needed (coming from someone who has degrees in this field) and ignores the purpose of needing a new bridge in the first place (separated bikes/pedestrians, better shade, sitting areas, etc.).

The first priority should have always been how to do pay for the things needed, if we couldn't afford the fancy design from MVVA then they should have raised money for that part... not the other way around. It's a complete bait and switch and feels like a kick back to the landscape architect via us. We shouldn't be in the situation were we're being told oh we'll fundraise for benches and shade at some point in the future... that just shouldn't be acceptable. This new bridge also does not appear to even provide better separation of bikes/pedestrians which was supposedly the biggest driver of why the old bridge couldn't be repaired. That the only option was this very costly double decking of that bridge which would require significantly different reconstruction of the piers and structural supports. Seems like BS to me honestly.

At the very least it should be vetted publicly further given we aren't getting what was promised to us in the first place to be shown this really is the best thing, instead of the vibe of 'just trust us, blah blah' that we've gotten from the city. There's very valid questions that can be asked and thought on that in the end will be better for everyone.

For analogy purposes this entire thing seems like we're getting a BOK Center exterior design (starchitect) with the old Ford Center interior... kind of backwards. Imagine if we had done that. The reason why the BOK Center is worth it was because we did it right and was purposely designed to be a superior arena for concerts compared to other regional venues. We are not doing the pedestrian bridge right currently. I'd by far rather have a Ford Center exterior and a BOK interior... the thing that actually matters to people who are using it and not just an Instagram picture.

This is a great post in many ways. Conan, LandArch is right. The "20 million" (19.9) figure is indeed the HIGH estimate for the double-decker, as given in the 2015 HNTB report. The HNTB report gives a LOW double-deck rehabilitation estimate of approximately "17.5 Million."  NO ONE in the media has yet reported about the single-deck versus double-deck rehabilitation distinction. I have told EVERYONE. Always edited out. It could save MANY MILLIONS according to what I've been told.
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« Reply #248 on: December 09, 2020, 11:10:22 pm »

This is a great post in many ways. Conan, LandArch is right. The "20 million" (19.9) figure is indeed the HIGH estimate for the double-decker, as given in the 2015 HNTB report. The HNTB report gives a LOW double-deck rehabilitation estimate of approximately "17.5 Million."  NO ONE in the media has yet reported about the single-deck versus double-deck rehabilitation distinction. I have told EVERYONE. Always edited out. It could save MANY MILLIONS according to what I've been told.

Paul Zachary has stated even double-decking the bridge, it's not going to have sufficient safe flow for the number of users (I'm paraphrasing but essentially based on today's standards, there's not enough room to safely or comfortably accommodate the anticipated demand.  I personally never had issues riding at peak pedestrian times on the bridge and in those cases, cyclists need to dismount and push instead of track-standing between walkers, joggers, dogs, and errant toddlers.

The shade argument matters little to me as much of the trail system does not have more than a few hours shade per day and the bridges over 21st, 71st, & 96th street where there is no shade doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent to people out for recreation.

With what peripheral knowledge I have of construction a figure of $20m seems suspect when you consider re-casting piers, etc.  I don't think it's doable for that.  That was another point Paul Zachary made in the article: there were literally thousands of gussets which would have to be replaced and you are still dealing with a steel structure for which the steel was made right around Oklahoma statehood.

To me anyhow, keeping the old bridge seems a bit extravagant and I don't find it to be any more compelling an architectural feature than any other train trestle or bridge I've seen.  I understand the sentiment for it, I fail to see where it's still practical with the kind of traffic Gathering Place brings nowadays.
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Arkansas Rio Gator
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« Reply #249 on: December 09, 2020, 11:40:02 pm »

Thanks for your thoughts... Here are a few of mine...

To me, double-decking is definitely not the right move. Have you seen what I was told about single-deck savings? at www.pedbridge.com/blog/  Saving/studying the possibility of saving all that money by staying with single-deck makes total sense to me. Also, related to staying single-deck, I agree with you that "I personally never had issues riding at peak pedestrian times on the bridge and in those cases, cyclists need to dismount and push instead of track-standing between walkers, joggers, dogs, and errant toddlers." I have been on that bridge thousands of times. And to ME, being able to hang out at length in the shade, with great views of the river on a hot day, is a very good thing. And I see a lot of elderly or frail folks able to do the same thing. To throw that away unnecessarily...

About two bridges. The thing is, they seem DETERMINED to build the Gateway bridge. In my opinion, various options could be reevaluated. But if it is gonna be built, it's gonna be built. But that does not mean the old bridge should just be demolished...

PLEASE REMEMBER:  The public was misinformed about its rehabilitative prospects—it was said as recently as July 2019, for example, that "The old bridge was structurally unsound and in danger of collapse. It would have ended up being closed anyway. Repairing the 100-year-old Pedestrian Bridge would have cost more than the new bridge. The choice wasn’t between the new bridge and the old bridge. The choice was between the new bridge and no bridge." Tulsa World July 17 2019

That story has been definitely refuted, now. Look at what Zachary is saying in the article from today's paper. He's talking about bike lane width at one point. Compare this to what the public was told years ago. It gets worse the more you dig into this, in some ways. EDIT: BUT THE KEY IS TO FIND A GOOD SOLUTION FOR TULSA NOW (no pun intended ;]
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 12:02:50 am by Arkansas Rio Gator » Logged
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« Reply #250 on: December 09, 2020, 11:49:12 pm »

I always respect and look forward to reading your development opinions and your contributions here.

A pedestrian bridge in this location is a vanity project whether it's a new bridge or pouring $20m into something nearly as old as the very city itself which has structural and liability issues.  The pedestrian bridge is purely recreational with the exception of a small number of commuters using it, I did when I'd ride my bike to work in west Tulsa, but it's not like there was a huge throng of us commuting back and forth daily that we can say commerce really benefitted from it.  

I get the idea of public input on a final product for the bridge, but is anyone really going to remember in 20 years that there was any controversy revolving around pedestrian bridges?  Maybe I'm too far removed from the daily happenings in Tulsa and my thoughts are the citizens of Tulsa have been given a $350 million park and now people are sounding a bit ungrateful about a nice accoutrement to the park in the form of a bridge.  I'm pretty sure any shortfalls out of V-2025 funding or whichever pot this came from will be underwritten by GKFF and some of his close associates.

I do worry that some in the city have that feeling that any questioning is deemed 'ungrateful' and my perspective on it is that not questioning things, especially that are funded by taxpayers, near such an amazing gift is not being proper stewards of the riverfront and that park.

That's why I try to offer up my thoughts, because having knowledge in this area could be of use, hopefully. Most Tulsans very do likely either don't care or have no idea what this even is over. Most of my friends if I talk about anything like this their eyes glaze over but as soon as we're in an environment where some issues might come up (why it's unpleasant to walk between districts downtown for example). People do care, they just don't realize it until they're actively in the situation.

The second anyone visits the park and wants to stroll on the bridge everyone will be wondering why is there no where to sit... why are all these bikes going by so fast and so close, why don't they have some separation, why isn't the bridge wider, etc. If you see an accident coming you should try to do something to help it not happen.

I fear we are compromising on a bridge that will have awful utility in an area that will have incredibly high pedestrian activity mixing with recreational users of the trail. If you've ever lived and walked across any bridge or major pedestrian trail in a major city you know how annoying tourists and people who don't use them everyday are... we've got to design the bridge to allow for all users if we are to get our moneys worth and something that is actual worthy of being built by the park.

If in order to do that, it might mean we can't have the fancy design. I do wonder why this isn't being discussed at alll I worry about the vanity project of this all from city leadership and we will have a very expensive bridge that gets little use because someone who bikes like you might very well start to avoid the bridge because it doesn't have proper biker separation and pedestrians will not properly utilize the bridge because there's no place to sit and enjoy the skyline view or shade and are being ran over by bikes if they want to stop and observe the scenery.

Which that brings me back to why I feel we should relook at the old bridge and see if there's some solution to solve all this with the budget we have while it is still there. Why not just take a pause and form a special panel to talk through various strategies and bring on some local engineering and planning firms as citizens and see what we can come up with. Discuss it at some council meetings and if the answer is still tear it down and fundraise later to add to the new bridge then so be it... I just feel like some at the city want to sweep it under the rug and are annoyed that any citizens might have a few questions now that we aren't getting the bridge that was actually promised.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 11:57:09 pm by LandArchPoke » Logged
Conan71
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« Reply #251 on: December 10, 2020, 12:08:01 am »

You and Gator bring up an interesting point I hadn't remembered about the old pedestrian bridge: People stopping and hanging over the edges and enjoying views.  That is somewhat of a difference for the other bridges as they are just throughways though you might get some people hanging out looking at downtown or south down the river.

I'm not overly aware of what they are calling for on the current design on the new bridge.  If it's not much wider then what Paul Zachary was saying about insufficient width for the flow on the old bridge doesn't hold water...but that still doesn't ameliorate all the structural unknowns once you start in on a 116 year old steel bridge.

I still think a new bridge is a safer investment but points about it being able to accommodate people out for an easy stroll or dropping a line over the rail as well as people jogging or pedaling along is well taken.
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« Reply #252 on: December 10, 2020, 12:30:39 am »

Yeah Conan, the lingering (even with old or unfit folks having a good time in the shaded river breeze) is one of the great things I've enjoyed about the original bridge.

As for funding/"a safer investment," it needs to be considered that the bridge is old/historic enough and very well could receive non-profit funding for its rehabilitation and maintenance. I have been talking to someone who knows about this. I want to talk to the council about exploring options like this at a meeting, and try to get them in contact with her, but so far a particular policy has blocked my ability to do so (e.g., I had applied for comment on the bridge at the Dec 9 meeting). My application for the Dec 16 meeting is also in, and I talked to someone from the council who called me today...it looks possible I will also not be allowed to comment about the bridge at the Dec 16 meeting, but I don't know yet.

I also think, again, that private donors would step up for the original bridge if given the opportunity, once it is widely known that (as in the 2015 report) there are specific recommendations on how it could be rehabilitated. We still need to talk about this as a city, in my opinion, and in the opinion of others...
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 12:32:38 am by Arkansas Rio Gator » Logged
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« Reply #253 on: December 10, 2020, 05:58:07 pm »

You and Gator bring up an interesting point I hadn't remembered about the old pedestrian bridge: People stopping and hanging over the edges and enjoying views.  That is somewhat of a difference for the other bridges as they are just throughways though you might get some people hanging out looking at downtown or south down the river.

I'm not overly aware of what they are calling for on the current design on the new bridge.  If it's not much wider then what Paul Zachary was saying about insufficient width for the flow on the old bridge doesn't hold water...but that still doesn't ameliorate all the structural unknowns once you start in on a 116 year old steel bridge.

I still think a new bridge is a safer investment but points about it being able to accommodate people out for an easy stroll or dropping a line over the rail as well as people jogging or pedaling along is well taken.

This is really what makes me so frustrated by this all is they seem to be ignoring the biggest reason we were told a new bridge was needed and we're going to be building a bridge that completely ignores how visitors to the park would want to use the bridge which is more of a site seeing type thing versus what a resident/recreational user of the trail system will be using the bridge (like you). So frankly the cheaper build out of the bridge is really doing a disservice to the park and the gift given to Tulsa by doing so, and I think we should advocate for better. Otherwise we're spending a ton of money for a bridge that doesn't serve the greater purpose and is just a slightly bigger and newer bridge that doesn't have any better utility than the old bridge. But we can say MVVA designed this super special bridge for us  Roll Eyes I'd far prefer a basic bridge design that was wider, had property segmentation of users, landscaping, shade, better seating areas... you know things that are actually important to people using the bridge.

If we can't afford something that offers space for people from the park to wonder and experience the river (that would include shade, benches, proper separation of users, etc.) we should look at alternatives like building the new bridge smaller and just for bikers/runners/etc. and then keep the old bridge as more of a tourist and passive user experience given you have been able to fish off that bridge and could easily add better seating, lighting, etc. and you'd have a much better user experience for everyone. Or looking into the option of moving the old bridge onto new piers like in the HNTB report and while doing so building on a cheaper expansion beside it on the same piers that is dedicated for bikes. There's options out there to evaluate.

If they don't want to look into doing anything different then we need to not build the new bridge until they've raised the private funds so we can facilitate a proper user experience for everyone who is an intended user of the bridge. There so be no bait and switch of we'll build it like this now and some 20 years down the road maybe QuikTrip will donate money for benches and so on. It should be done right from the beginning.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 06:03:14 pm by LandArchPoke » Logged
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« Reply #254 on: December 10, 2020, 06:53:51 pm »

I guess I need to dig in further on what they have narrowed down to the current design (pun may or may not be intended).  My interest piqued when I saw in the TW that a petition was being circulated to stop the demo of the old bridge and I figured I could count on a few of you here to fill me in on the controversy and I appreciate your responses.  When I left Tulsa in 2017, I was under the impression that the old bridge was toast.
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