The graceful curve of the Link is designed in response to existing topographic conditions and respect of the I-235 vehicle travel lanes. Several new sites are created for buildings, pathways, and public spaces. In addition to creating new building and green spaces, the design attracts walking and biking instead of repelling them, resulting in increased connectivity and improved walkability.
A new flyover pedestrian bridge will link the OU Research Park to the 9th Street activity corridor. Our studies indicated that 9th Street should be the primary link to Automobile Alley, and that's why it was given a prominent terminus on the Link, the target for pedestrian paths from 10th Street and the Research Park.
On April 18, 2017, the Brookings Institute and the Project for Public Spaces released the findings of their 18-month study on whether the area east of I-235 could support an Innovation District. The study recommends four strategies that could "propel the region into global prominence..." Among the recommendations, the study found there was a need to create a denser, more active and better connected mixed-use urban environment in and around the Innovation District.
As we began fine-tuning our initial concept during our Phase I Study, we compressed the layout of the cap, also reducing the cost. However, we were able to maintain the key design features that build community and connectivity even with the smaller footprint. We believe the OKC Innovation Link will answer the Brookings Institute's call for strengthened connections, enhance placemaking and a more active urban environment surrounding the Innovation District.