The bridge, which was opened in July, represents the most recently completed overpass in one of the largest construction projects in Oklahoma’s history, running from Highway 77 to the south Canadian River. Construction on the Lindsey Street bridge began in March of 2015, and local and state leaders applauded the bridge as a impressive new entrance to Norman and the University of Oklahoma.
“Thank you to everyone involved in creating this special gateway to the University of Oklahoma and to Norman,” OU President David Boren said. “We are so proud of it. I don’t think there is a city in the country where the relationship between a university and the city is closer than it is in Norman. If we’re going to rebuild this whole country, we need to rekindle our spirit of community, where we care about each other, where we take care of each other. Today, we’re celebrating that spirit of community.”
Weitzman said the Seed Sower panel, as well as the Cherokee Gothic architecture that is reflective similar architecture on the OU campus, is part of a larger aesthetic goal of telling the story of Norman.
“The vision is that when you pass under or by one of these structures, it should tell you a story about the community, the history, the aspirations of the community and the state,” he said. “From Highway 77, where you see the prairie grasses and scissortail flycatchers, to Lindsey Street Bridge, which is bridging the community of Norman and Oklahoma to the University of Oklahoma, literally and figuratively.”
Republic Bank and Trust President and CEO Chuck Thompson said the image of the Seed Sower, is intended to represent the spread of knowledge across the state.
“The people who drive through Oklahoma, this area, this gives Norman a unique identity as the home of the University of Oklahoma,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll see this, come to town, and spend some money here.”
Norman Chamber of Commerce Scott Martin, Norman Mayor Lynne Miller, Sen. Jim Inhofe and Gov. Mary Fallin also spoke during the dedication.
“The investment that has been made here is so important to the livelihood of our businesses and our citizens, and it certainly couldn’t have been done without the support of many of the individuals here today,” Martin said. “Over $200 million of state, local and federal dollars has been invested in Norman, into I-35, to benefit our community.”
The project also completes widening of I-35 to six lanes from I-40 in downtown Oklahoma City to Highway 9, a more than $400 million project that began in the 1980s.
Oct 27, 2017