PurposeWhen the downtown portion of Interstate 40 is relocated just to the south of its current location, Oklahoma City officials were looking for a pedestrian connection between downtown and the blossoming Oklahoma River area. In addition to its obvious functional elements, the bridge, named the Skydance, will be a huge and iconic modernistic sight for I-40 drivers.
DesignAfter a design competition that included 16 firms, Oklahoma City chose the submission by Architect MKEC Engineering and Butzer Design Partnership, led by Hans Butzer. Butzer is well-known as the designer of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
The LookThe Skydance Pedestrian Bridge design is said to be inspired by the "sky dance" of the scissor-tailed flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird. The 18-story structure will be 30-feet wide and stretch 440-feet across the semi-depressed section of the new 10-lane I-40 south of downtown. Wings will rise above the bridge, reaching as high as 185 feet in the air, and a 66-inch high ornamental metal railing spans the length of bridge.
The bridge will be made of stainless steel panels that will shimmer in the sun, and uplighting at night will emit a skyward glow. The wings, to be made from a translucent material, will appear to glow from within.
See more design photos: long shot, night view, day view and special event view. All images copyright Skydance Design LLC / Butzer Design Partnership.
Funding & ConstructionConstruction of the Skydance Pedestrian Bridge will begin in August 2011, just as the I-40 constructions enter final stages. Estimated completion date for the bridge is April 2012.
The estimated $6.6 million construction cost will be funded by both city and federal money, about $3.5 million coming from the Oklahoma State Department of Transportation's federal funding and the rest from the city of Oklahoma City.