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Bridge on Rock Creek Road offers Norman traffic relief

A $12 million bridge straddling Interstate 35 in Norman, OK, may not be handling much traffic now but it could provide major relief once the city's University North Park shopping area is fully developed.
by Andrew Knittle Published: November 25, 2012

The University North Park shopping area, covering a swath of land purchased from the University of Oklahoma, has been growing since Super Target became the first tenant in late 2006.

The shopping area now has dozens of retailers, eateries and a major hotel and conference center. It's at Robinson Street and 24th Ave NW, just east of I-35.

And while there have been struggles along the way, city officials say long-term plans to build a large city park and additional shopping area remain on course.

Shawn O'Leary, the city's director of public works, said the long-delayed Legacy Park project is currently in the bidding process.

He said the director of the city's Parks and Recreation department is expected to recommend the city council award the contract “to the lowest and best bidder.”

“Construction of the project is expected to take 14 months from the notice to proceed,” O'Leary said.

O'Leary said the city is also moving forward with plans to build a second, more upscale shopping area on the east side.

The “Village Center” will be “a spectacular, pedestrian-friendly, high-scale shopping district,” if tenants start coming forward to develop the eastern portion of University North Park, he said.

“The infrastructure is also well under way with the recent completion of the new intersection at 24th Avenue NW and Legacy Park Drive,” O'Leary said. “I anticipate that the first tenant in the Village Center may come forward soon, if the economy continues to improve.”

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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