Thursday, January 19, 2012
"Construction on Oklahoma City’s iconic new pedestrian bridge, Oklahoma City SkyDance Bridge, inspired by the scissor-tailed flycatcher took shape today as a massive steel 'wing,' was carefully lifted by a crane and pinned to the base structure."
"The bridge spans the new Interstate 40 near Robinson Avenue, connecting pedestrians to the Oklahoma River. The bridge is at the heart of the MAPS 3 downtown park, which is expected to begin construction in 2013."
I'm all for the wonderful renovations that are taking place in and around downtown Oklahoma City, especially the new I-40 corridor replacing the old three mile I-40 bridge downtown that to put mildly is a death trap. Though it would be nice to have more than two exits to the heart of downtown.
What I'm totally not on board with is the SkyDance pedestrian bridge shown in the picture above. Sure it's a unique piece of architecture that will really be cool once completed and lit up at night; however, at what cost? 5.8 million dollars to be exact! Could our city be better served to put that money toward a more important use? I think maybe so.
When I posted the picture on Facebook one of my friends commented that we could spend that kind of money on a pedestrian bridge yet people using our mass transit system (I use that term lightly) are left out in the rain. "It will be extra, super pretty when one is standing in the rain at an uncovered bus stop."
A lot of what we've done as a city is fantastic, a new basketball arena for the millionaires to play in, plans for a new Convention Center even though we just renovated the old one, and tax breaks for an energy company to build a nearly 50 story building downtown. Yes I'm being sarcastic.
Instead of using the 5.8 million on a pedestrian bridge maybe that money could have helped those living under the old I-40 bridge. After all where will they go when it's finally torn down and a new avenue is created in its place? I'm just saying.
I'll end this posting by saying that most of what our city has done with MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) is fantastic, lifting our quality of life in the area and creating jobs overall, at a minimal cost, a one cent sales tax that will eventually expire. Yet I still have to scratch my head now and then on some of the boneheaded things our city leaders vote to spend money on...