MOORE — The city of Moore has been authorized to negotiate for the design of the 34th Street bridge, paving the way for residents’ input for the project that will serve as the city’s southern entrance.
The council granted the city power to negotiate a deal with Creative Design Resolutions, though it will have to vote again to approve the final agreement. The 34th Street bridge will pass over Interstate 35 and, as a result, serve as a signal for those traveling north that they’ve entered Moore.
“The whole point of this was to tease your imagination a little bit and tell you what is possible for the infrastructure projects you have,” Steven Weitzman, with Creative Design Resolutions, said to the council.
The company is the same one that worked with the city of Norman to design a series of eight bridges, including the one connecting Lindsey Street over I-35. Weitzman used those bridges as an example to show the council what is possible with an overpass and said the Lindsey Street bridge was designed “to introduce you to the city of Norman.”
“Every one of these bridges tells the story of Norman,” he said. “You see all these highways are being developed around neighborhoods. Our philosophy is ‘Why build a wall when you can build a window?’”
Going through numerous slides and photos, Weitzman showed examples of Creative Design Resolutions’ work, including the use of artwork in concrete moulds and LED lights.
“Anything is possible,” he said. “That’s what this opportunity is to show you right now.”
Weitzman also stressed input from the whole community, though he did not provide details of how that would work in Moore. Mayor Glenn Lewis said he foresees community meetings in the future, but there are no exact details yet.
Council member Danielle McKenzie said she is particularly interested in that area and would have liked to have seen more about it in Weitzman’s presentation.
“I’m more interested in the process and how we get citizens involved,” McKenzie said. “I know you touched on that, but just for future reference.”
McKenzie also asked why this was not sent out for competitive bid. City Manager Brooks Mitchell said since the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is heavily involved in the bridge project, it helps to work with companies the agency is already familiar with.
Creative Design Resolutions has worked on bridges throughout the state, including the Turner Turnpike and Ponca City.
“It helps to have ODOT’s blessing on this,” Mitchell said. “I think this is the firm we should use. And we have to come back to the council to approve the agreement. Giving us the authorization doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.”
The set target date for the bridge’s completion is fall 2018. Though the specific design hasn’t been determined yet, Weitzman said his company has a good track record.
“In the 25 years doing this, we’ve never been late and we’ve never gone over budget,” he said.
Apr 5, 2017