NO. 9 ROAD: A ‘Gathering Place’

Tulsa community is a major player in reconstruction

Brian W. Budzynski / October 04, 2018
Riverside Drive

Gathering Place, Tulsa’s Riverfront Park is a 66.5-acre park located in the heart of Tulsa, Okla.

It skirts the Arkansas River and is adjacent to a smattering of residential developments.

The City of Tulsa funded and administered the surrounding infrastructure projects through a sales tax and bond initiative. These funded projects included rehabilitation of Riverside Drive with a signature bridge structure over Crow Creek (an urban stream passes through the site); significant stormwater improvements including bringing all infrastructure in and around the park up to the design standard of 100-year conveyance and flood protection; water main construction providing redundant waterline connections throughout the area for dependable supply; reconstruction of a major sanitary sewer main along the river, and rehabilitation of a 115-year-old railroad bridge over the Arkansas River for split-level pedestrian and bike use.

HNTB worked closely with the city on an accelerated schedule (less than 12 months) to design six bid packages that were advertised and awarded separately for the park’s surrounding infrastructure improvements. HNTB also managed the city’s infrastructure construction. While working quickly to maintain an acceptable schedule for completion, designers were challenged to incorporate the private development design with the city infrastructure design and to create a synchronized private-public development.

“This was made into an integrated corridor for signal timing, to help control speed,” HNTB Project Manager Tim Morgan told Roads & Bridges. “Before, people zipped through this area in excess of the speed limit. People used to call it the Riverside Raceway. It was reduced from 45 to 35, and now there is a world-class park and a lot of pedestrians and a lot of parking and so forth. It’s been a significant change of use in the area. The city came in and did what it needed to do and did it very cost-effectively.”

The new road consists of 11-in. dowel-jointed concrete pavement over a 12-in. aggregate base; a geogrid separator fabric; 8 in. of compacted subgrade; and finally underdrains along the corridor.

“We did a pavement design specifically for the area,” Morgan said. “It’s right on the banks of the Arkansas River, so it’s really sandy. Previously there were a lot of ground water problems, so we went all the way down, pulled everything out. We took a cautious approach to make sure we were providing 100-year protection for the street. We completely reworked the profile to tie in with the park development. The pavement was in terrible shape. It had to be completely reconstructed. Now it’s an incredible road and looks great.”

Project: Riverside Drive

Location: Tulsa, Okla.

Owner: City of Tulsa

Designer: HNTB Corp.

Contractors: Becco; Manhattan Road & Bridge; Crossland Heavy.; Tri-Star; Wildcat

Cost: $40 million

Length: 2 miles

Completion Date: Sept. 8, 2018

About the Author

Budzynski is managing editor of Roads & Bridges.

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