Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. and District 4 City Councilor Blake Ewing celebrated with the Brady Arts District and many others from downtown the opening of the new Boulder Avenue bridge today. The bridge spans the downtown railroad tracks and connects First Street and Archer Street.
Also present to help celebrate completion of the bridge were Delise Tomlinson, Executive Director of Downtown for the Tulsa Regional Chamber; Bob Fleischman, president of the Brady Arts District Business Association, and Ken Levit, Executive Director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The University of Tulsa Pep Band, “Sound of the Golden Hurricane,” led a procession to open the bridge to the Brady Arts District.
The old Boulder Avenue bridge, built in 1929, was closed to traffic more than a decade ago and was demolished in 2009. The new bridge has four lanes of traffic and includes an extra-wide sidewalk for pedestrian use.
The new Boulder Avenue bridge provides a needed link, for both vehicles and pedestrians, between the restaurants, arts and entertainment venues in the Brady District and the BOK Center and other portions of the downtown area. The bridge also fits in the overall downtown master plan, designed with transit potential as a downtown trolley route.
The City of Tulsa contracted with Becco Contractors Inc. for this $8.3 million project, which includes bridge construction, landscaping, lighting and artwork installation. Landscaping includes Boston ivy, holly and roses at the approach ends of the bridge near the outside retaining walls. Art students from Tulsa Technology Center have designed artwork for the bridge fencing that presents a historic retrospective of Tulsa, while looking ahead to the future.
Funding for the bridge came from both the 2006 Third Penny Sales Tax and the 2008 General Obligation Bond Issue. SAIC Energy, Environment and Infrastructure L.L.C. was the design engineering consultant for the project.