OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Exciting news from Oklahoma City on efforts to connect the north and south sides of the Oklahoma River!
The City of Oklahoma City tells KFOR the proposed plans include several new walking and bike trails as well as four pedestrian bridges, first reported by OKCTalk.
The first pedestrian bridge would connect the south bank to the north shore close to the First Americans Museum and the planned OKANA Resort that is currently under construction.
“This is a project to help with walkability in that specific area, to connect the north bank to the south bank with trails,” said David Todd, MAPS project manager for the city of Oklahoma City.
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Todd said the project was expected to be finished by the end of 2024 and already paid for through the penny sales tax.
“As soon as we build it, it’s paid for,” said Todd. “There are no bonds, no debt.”
Renderings of that project are expected to be approved by May.
A second pedestrian bridge would go over I-35. That project was proposed through ODOT and has yet to be funded.
The third planned bridge would connect lower Scissortail Park to the south banks by Wiley Post Park. Lastly, the city planned to refurbish the railroad bridge by Wheeler Park. Both of those projects will be funded by city departments.
Money will also be going into expanding the city’s walking and bike trails.
“I think the focus right now is connecting those trails into residents, into neighborhoods, to better connect residents to the trail amenities,” said Max Harris, associate planner for the city.
Harris said the trails will make one large loop from many metro lakes. Parts of the trails could be finished in the next two years.
“There are some ambitious goals as well as some really feasible ones that we have money for right now,” said Harris.
Harris also said the walking and bike trails were part of a master plan to bring the city up to par with many other big cities across the country.