City, state leaders dedicate SkyDance Bridge

The pedestrian bridge spans
the realigned Interstate 40. For the time being it is a bridge from nowhere to
nowhere, but city officials hope that will change as the surrounding Core to
Shore area is developed in the coming years.

From a
timeworn neighborhood on the south, a gentle landscaped slope leads to the
bridge and a soaring metal replica of a scissor-tailed flycatcher – the
Oklahoma state bird – and on over the highway to near the old Union Train
station. The bridge was constructed in
conjunction with the completion of I-40 earlier this year.

The architecture
and design was by Hans Butzer and Stan Carroll, a pair who beat out a pool of
four finalists for the project. They began their work about four years ago on the joint effort between the city of Oklahoma City and the state Department of
Transportation.

“The
process of relocating this interstate highway was extremely complex,” Cornett
said. “One of the goals of a completed project was to raise the standards of
what this generation feels is acceptable to leave to the next generation.”

With what
city and state officials hope will be an iconic piece of the landscape, ODOT
Director Gary Ridley said the project came to fruition because both parties
worked together. ODOT contributed $3.5 million for the bridge, and the city paid
$2.3 million from general bond authorizations approved by voters in 2000 and
2007.  

“It wouldn’t
have been possible without the cooperation and the help of Mayor Cornett and
members of the council and the citizens of Oklahoma City,” Ridley said. “The cooperation
that we have between the two governmental entities is the only way you can get
things done.”

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