New proposal for bridge in west Tulsa

TULSA - For residents who live in the Berryhill area of west Tulsa, crossing the Arkansas River can be challenging, but a new proposal could bring them some relief.

Currently residents have to travel several miles to the west or east to cross the river.

A four-lane bridge is supposed to be built at South 57th West Avenue some time in the future as part of the Gilcrease Expressway Extension project.

But that could be years away.

Another idea receiving some attention is the possibility of building a two-lane bridge, which would be more cost-effective and could later be converted into a four-lane bridge.

"It's a way of opening up that corridor, opening up the economic development, getting traffic counts to justify doing the four lanes," said District 2 Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith.

Keith said not only would the bridge benefit the area from an economic perspective, but a public safety one too.

"It's a long way around to get in and out of for instance the Berryhill area," said Keith.

Keith said there's no point in waiting years, if not decades, for a bridge to be built.

"It's important to the economic development of both north and west Tulsa as well as Sand Springs," said Keith.

Engineers suggested the idea to Keith.

At this time, city and county leaders are considering several proposals about how to complete the Gilcrease Expressway, which would connect I-244 in North Tulsa to I-44 in West Tulsa.

No decision about the South 57th West Avenue bridge has been made yet.

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