Construction begins on Tulsa's Route 66 gatways
The east gateway will be installed first, on the north side of East 11th Street, east of Interstate 44. Construction of the east gateway is estimated to take about one week. Immediately following installation of the east gateway, construction on the west gateway will begin on Southwest Boulevard near the entrance of the Crystal City shopping center. The west gateway also is expected to take about one week to install.
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.