ENID, Okla. — Enid City Commission has approved an art design for a new overpass on Van Buren, over the BNSF Railway tracks.
Replacement of the existing overpass is on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation's schedule to begin in late spring.
"It's going to be a nice little improvement for us. It's a four-lane road. It has sidewalks on either side. Both those are protected with concrete walls from the traffic, and then the outside walls of the bridge are concrete and that's where the art will be located," Public Arts Commission of Enid member Michael Shuck told city commissioners during a meeting Tuesday.
The design involves a scissor-tailed flycatcher bird and grass, with gold and blue backgrounds.
On Wednesday, Shuck told PACE members the art will be visible from Chestnut. Previously, it was discussed the art also would be visible to drivers on Van Buren, on one side of a concrete wall — between the lanes of traffic on Van Buren and the side of the bridge — protecting the sidewalk from the traffic lanes. He said ODOT is not able to do that part of the original proposal.
There also will not be grass behind the design of the scissor-tailed flycatcher, as previously proposed, because ODOT officials cannot do that design with forms, Shuck said.
"(ODOT is) really trying to work with us to make something good happen here. I'm pretty positive, even with those changes, it still seemed to be a really positive thing," he told PACE members.
Noon AMBUCS wanted some standers on the bridge to place flags on, Shuck said.
"That was really a no-brainer for ODOT. They liked that idea," he said. “I can’t wait to see that part of it, it will be really, really nice.”
The bridge will have a higher arc than what it does now, Shuck said.
"It's going to be kind of a subtle thing, but I think it's going to be a significant improvement to it," he said.
PACE member Marcy Jarrett said drivers will be able to see the bridge from the intersection of Cleveland and Chestnut.
"It's going to make quite a statement," she said.
During the city commission meeting, Ward 2 Commissioner Derwin Norwood Jr. asked if there will be lighting on the bridge.
"ODOT is actually in charge of getting this out and supervising the project. I know there's lighting, I don't know the specifics, but we will try to get that information and bring it back soon," City Manager Jerald Gilbert said. "Our contribution to (the bridge project) is next to nothing."