- Moore committee considers bridge designs -

MOORE — The city’s Highway Art Committee made recommendations this week for decorative artwork for the SW 34 Street bridge over Interstate 35. Elizabeth Weitman, Moore’s community development director, presented four proposals by Steven Weitzman, CEO and president of Creative Design Resolutions Inc., of Brentwood, Maryland.

Weitzman based his designs on information given by the committee in June. At that time, the group narrowed suggestions from the public on what the bridge art should include.

• The first option shown was titled Stylized Brick Design and featured a red brick design trimmed in white.

• Option two was called Contemporary Arch Design, which has a metal mesh facing below an arch spanning the bridge’s length.

• Plan three was called Ashlar Stone Design. This featured stone construction, a cable fence along the upper road and walkways.

• The final design was called Arkansas Ledge Stone, and it featured earth-colored stones with white panels. All the designs had light features.

Weitman said that each design has elements that can be mixed with elements of other designs. “We can mix and match,” she said. Committee members decided on a combination of the designs. They liked a blend of the arch proposal and the Arkansas Ledge Stone designs.

However, there is a catch.

The arch design is still under review by the bridge’s engineering company, EST of Oklahoma City, Weitman said. There is the concern that the arch and its mesh panel could add up to half a million dollars to the bridge’s cost. City Manager Brooks Mitchell and Assistant City Manager Stan Drake said they liked the arch plan because it is different.

Member Kenneth Jarema, who is on the city’s planning commission, said the red brick of the Stylized Brick Design “looked like a university. It would fit in Norman.” Member Danielle McKenzie, who is a city councilwoman, said that design looks too close to Norman’s Lindsey Street bridge over I-35. Member Charles Payne, who is on the city’s parks board, said the arch design would set Moore’s new bridge apart from others in the area.

The bridge’s estimated cost is $15 million to $16 million, Drake said.

The complete project, which includes the bridge and new roadways, will extend from Telephone Road on the west to the BNSF Railway tracks on the east. Drake said the bridge itself will be about 1,150 feet long. Buildings on the southwest corner of the project have been purchased and cleared.

The design firm probably will give an updated presentation to the city council at the Sept. 18 meeting. Work on the project could start as early as January. However, Drake said it could begin in April.Work is expected to take at least a year to complete. The bridge will have four traffic lanes, and the ramps will have dedicated turn lanes. The ramps will provide access to the service roads.

By Thomas Maupin For The Oklahoman