For commuters driving along I-35 in Norman, the Lindsey Street Bridge is the entry point into the University of Oklahoma’s main campus in Norman, OK. For this gateway bridge, CDR took as inspiration the prominent classic Cherokee Gothic architecture and brick work prevalent on one of the state’s oldest colleges.
The bridge will be a warm reddish brown with a contemporary faux brick pattern, which will be cast into concrete and stained to look like real brick stacked together with mortar. Tying together all of these elements is the bridge girder painted a red to complement the brick. Decorative quoins provide solid stone edging for the exterior side of the parapet. The quoining design to be cast using form liners will give the illusion of real cut stone on the parapet. The quoining design also breaks up the expansive brick pattern along the MSE wall using a Fibonacci spacing, contributing to the overall Cherokee Gothic style.
A custom railing was designed for the bridge the design of which mirrors the arched lintels found throughout the University and in columns and cast-stone arches. Centered on the parapet and bracketed by two cast concrete columns with brick and quoin design, will be a concrete panel, cast front and back with a bas-relief image of the Seed Sower, David Ross Boyd, the first president of the university and a symbol of the University’s dedication to education and growth.
On the bridge deck, CDR designed a respite area/pedestrian facility for commuters traveling to and from the university. The design pays homage to the university’s start as an agricultural college. Furrowed row design is scored into the concrete sidewalk, representing Oklahoma’s planted fields. Two different tall grass bas relief patterns are cast into the seating walls, which references both the indigenous vegetation but also the state’s Dust Bowl years, when they learned that the native grass was essential to enriching and rooting the soil. Facing Lindsey Street framed by two small, faux brick and quoin columns will be cast text reading, “City of Norman.”
The Lindsey Street Bridge is part of an eight bridge Aesthetic Master Design Plan CDR developed for the I-35 Corridor in Norman, Oklahoma. The design for each bridge finds its inspiration in either the history, architectural, flora or fauna, or the industry of this region.