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Rehabilitation Project on Boston Avenue Bridge Scheduled to Begin This Summer

May 6, 2024 — A rehabilitation project for the Boston Avenue Bridge between East First Street and East Archer Street is scheduled to begin this summer. This is the pedestrian bridge that stretches over the railroad tracks and has the Center of the Universe attraction — an echoing ring — on top. Enhancements to the Center of the Universe are planned to follow the bridge repair project.

"Repairing the Boston Avenue Bridge and enhancing the Center of the Universe will re-energize this pedestrian area of Downtown Tulsa," Mayor G.T. Bynum said. "The Center of the Universe has been a special place for Tulsans to enjoy, and many visitors to Tulsa also seek it out. We want to keep the Center of the Universe special by improving this public space for many more years of enjoyment."

Before enhancements are built at the Center of the Universe, the bridge underneath needs rehabilitation. This includes repairing the bridge deck, concrete beams, abutments, caps and columns; applying an elastomeric coating to abutment and cap surfaces, and removing and replacing the overlay.

During the first phase of the rehabilitation project, estimated to last about four months, the bridge will remain open. The bridge will need to be closed for the second phase of the project, which is estimated to take about five months. Pedestrians will need to use alternate routes during the closure - over one block east or west to either Main Street or Cincinnati Avenue.

The $3,514,980.00 rehabilitation project is funded by Improve Our Tulsa 2. The City of Tulsa has contracted with Daris Contractors for the work, likely estimated for completion in April or May of 2025. The rebuilding of the Center of the Universe attraction will follow the bridge rehabilitation project. The Center of the Universe project will be built with a mix of public and private funding.

Downtown Tulsa Partnership is supporting the City's commitment to preserving and enriching this beloved local landmark by leading the public-private effort for the above-deck upgrades. The partnership's involvement ensures that once the City completes the bridge's structural rehabilitation, immediate steps will be taken to revitalize the above-deck features through a rehabilitation project estimated to take an additional 9-12 months. Guided by public feedback, planned enhancements will include green spaces, seating, improved lighting, improved pedestrian walkways, and updated landscaping while its famous acoustic anomaly will remain.

"This is a pivotal moment for Downtown Tulsa as we come together to restore and enhance the Boston Avenue Bridge and the Center of the Universe, a treasure to our community," said Brian Kurtz, President and CEO of Downtown Tulsa Partnership. "Our collaboration with the City and private partners symbolizes a shared vision for a vibrant and accessible Downtown area. We are committed to ensuring that these improvements serve not just today's Tulsans but generations to come."

More information will be released about the enhancement plans in mid-summer 2024.