Many remain unaware of specific recommendations found within the complete HNTB Pedestrian Bridge report. The public deserves to know.
City Engineer Paul Zachary has stated the existing bridge cannot be salvaged. The Tulsa World reported, “The city says a 2014 report found that the 100-year-old old bridge to be replaced … is structurally unsound and in danger of collapse.”
The HNTB report says: “Slide-in Bridge Construction was originally developed as a cost-effective technique to rapidly replace an existing bridge while reducing impacts to mobility and safety. …The technique is proposed for Zink Bridge because it is cost competitive with the other explored alternatives, while achieving a superior level of service and durability.”
Speaking of cracks on the bridge, it says, “The cracks do not appear to present an immediate hazard requiring closure of the bridge….One alternative may be regular inspection.…”
Indeed, it further states: "Slide-in Bridge Construction allows for construction of new bridge piers while maintaining traffic on the existing bridge."
So the bridge might even have stayed open during part of its renovation process.
The report also gives the preliminary cost estimate of under $20 million for a double-decker. Consider the possible savings for single-deck renovation that would be keeping history and pleasant shade.
Since the replacement bridge has fallen short, the city, which was not wholly forthcoming, should officially reevaluate the old bridge.
Search with Google the phrase "Don’t Demolish Tulsa’s Pedestrian Bridge Petition." Over 200 have signed the petition so far.
Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to tulsaworld.com/opinion/submitletter.