As part of the City of Tulsa’s vision for the improved Zink Dam area, schlaich bergermann partner (sbp) was asked to design a new pedestrian bridge that would provide a safe and modern crossing between the east and west sides of the Arkansas River and replace an existing bridge that was deemed structurally unsound and in need of major repair. The result is the 1,440-ft-long Gateway Bridge, which is supported by eleven 120-ft-long arch spans and an approach span. The semi-integral bridge was designed with extremely slender deck-stiffened arches built from 3-1/4″ plate of weathering steel and is curved in plan. Optimized and structurally expressed steel nodes allow for the transfer of loads from the superstructure to the substructure where the arch spans meet. When complete, it will be the longest arch-type pedestrian bridge in the United States and also the first multi-span, plate arch bridge built in the US.
This new symbol for Tulsa will also provide a connection to “The Gathering Place,” an immense park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, as well as links to the River Parks and Midland Valley Trails. The Gateway Bridge is designed for both pedestrian and cyclist access and will offer opportunities to stop and enjoy the dramatic river views with seating and lookout areas along the bridge deck.