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Skydance Bridge to be redesigned

The cost of the planned pedestrian bridge over the new Interstate 40 skyrocketed to more than twice its original estimate.
BY BRYAN DEAN Modified: October 27, 2010 at 5:14 am •  Published: October 27, 2010

The Skydance Bridge will need a redesign as its projected cost has soared to more than twice the original estimate, city officials said Tuesday.

The pedestrian bridge will span the new Interstate 40 Crosstown Expressway when it opens in 2012 and will feature an 18-story tall sculpture inspired by the "skydance" of the scissortail flycatcher. The bridge will connect the northern and southern sections of a planned 70-acre downtown park included in MAPS 3.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said Tuesday he was "mildly disappointed" that the city had to re-think its design for the bridge.

"I just always hate to take less than our first choice," Cornett said. "It's not my instinct to settle for a lesser design. If we had more time, I'd like to get creative and see if we could find more money."

The city is running low on time because construction of the new I-40 is ongoing and the bridge must be completed before it opens.

The estimate for the cost of the bridge was about $5.2 million, well under the $6.8 million budget. But unexpected problems pushed the cost estimate to $12.8 million as architects were working on finalizing the design, city officials said.

The original design called for cables connected to the massive sculpture that would support the 30-foot-wide bridge.

Assistant City Manager Jim Thompson said the state Transportation Department had problems with the design because it wasn't capable of supporting large maintenance vehicles.

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