Plans for MAPS park in downtown Oklahoma City taking shape

A “great lawn,” a recreational lake and a prominent pedestrian promenade are among the central features of the latest park design unveiled Thursday by the consultant group tasked with its design. A final proposal for the $132 million project will be presented at a public meeting in January.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: December 14, 2012
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Interstate 40 will split it nearly in half, with the new Skydance Bridge connecting the two elements together.

The park will be built in phases starting next year and is expected to be completed in 2020.

Recreational lake

The design unveiled Thursday calls for a lake large enough for water activities, a walkway that runs north-south alongside S Robinson, and a meandering “discovery trail” running east-west in the section immediately south of I-40.

“We got tons of responses of, ‘Yes, I want a lake I can paddle around on,'” Jones said. “That was, I'd say, 90 percent of the response we got: Give us a lake that maximizes edges and that maximizes discovery as you move around it.”

A plaza alongside the proposed boulevard will connect the proposed convention center to the great lawn, which could host as many as 50,000 congregants when the street is shut down, Jones said.

Gardens will run the length of the park, graduating from native prairie-land flora in the urban north to native wetlands flora as the park reaches the river, according to the proposal.

Members of the subcommittee asked the consultants to consider cost of maintenance, the impact of grades leading up to the interstate, and the best way to incorporate Union Station into the park while they work to develop a final design proposal.

The subcommittee also authorized Hargreaves to investigate the development of the riverside area immediately south of the park.

The final proposal will be revealed at a public meeting in January.


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