Route 66 gateways in Tulsa begin construction

By the end of October, Tulsa should have its Route 66 gateways on the east and west sides of the city completed, according to a news release.

Here are more artist’s renderings of the gateways:

Contractors started work Thursday on the east gateway on the north side of 11th Street, just east of Interstate 44. It should be done in about a week.

After that, crews will start on the west gateway on Southwest Boulevard across from the Crystal City shopping center. That, too, will take about a week of work.

Here’s a short video from a local TV station about the construction:

More details about the gateways, via city planner Dennis Whitaker:

Constructed of steel covered with aluminum, the gateways will be nearly 39 feet high and more than 48 feet wide, with an LED Route 66 shield and upward illumination at night. As visitors enter Tulsa, they will drive under the gateway. When visitors leave the city, they will see on the other side of the road an 8-foot-by-11-foot zigzag art deco structure with a Tulsa Route 66 shield, thanking them for visiting Tulsa.

“The design of the gateways combines elements of architectural significance from the art deco era, creating a notable iconic feature for heritage tourism in Tulsa,” said Dennis Whitaker, City of Tulsa planner for the Vision 2025 Route 66 projects. “The three main obelisks are the zigzag art deco style prominent in many urban areas and particularly in Tulsa. In addition, a sweeping streamline art deco feature extends from behind the curb line to the center line of the street, reminiscent of not only the streamline art deco era, but also the classic automobile styling of the 1950s.”

Whitaker continued, “The matching gateways will create a picture frame at the east and west sides of the city where the rural areas began to transition into the developed areas of Tulsa during the Route 66 era: 1926-1973.”

Total cost for this project is $930,000, including design by Dewberry and fabrication and installation by Claude Neon Federal Signs. The funding source is the Vision 2025 Tulsa County sales tax.

Those are among the last Route 66 projects of Vision 2025. The last piece of the puzzle will by the Route 66 Experience museum at the banks of the Arkansas River. As proposed, it would be a public-private effort by the city and the Route 66 Alliance. The alliance will have to raise millions of dollars to cover its part of the construction.

(Artist’s renderings of the Route 66 gateways via City of Tulsa)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.