The Chickasaw Nation, Ada, Oklahoma, in connection with the (new) construction of its Chickasaw Nation Cultural Center, located in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (part of the US National Park Service) near Sulphur, Oklahoma, asked one of its prominent tribal members, Neal McCaleb, former Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation and Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, to develop concepts for a pedestrian bridge to provide access over Rock Creek from the National Recreation Area to the Cultural Center facility. The selected design criteria were to incorporate a cable-stayed suspension truss in harmony with the natural beauty of the Recreational Area. The project was a joint effort between the Chickasaw Nation and the National Park Service.
Manhattan Road and Bridge Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma, was selected as design-builder with Tetra Tech, Tulsa and Kansas City, as its engineer-of-record for the design and construction inspection. The final design consisted of a 195’ single-span (cable-stayed) suspended (Vierendeel design attributed) truss (centered “spinal” HSS tubular beam with transverse HSS “ribs”), supported by two opposing 34’ pier towers (aesthetically formed cast-in-place concrete to match natural stone), retaining wall abutments, anchor blocks, decorative steel handrail, precast concrete deck, and approaches.
The Chickasaw Nation has a long-established history with the National Park Service and originally recognized the natural beauty of the area and the medicinal quality of the waters prior to 1900. This partnership is displayed in the pier tower column tie-beams (Chickasaw Nation symbols and National Park Service arrowhead).