Blue-and-white color scheme gets the nod for New Orleans Square intersection


By John Dobberstein, Editor

The Broken Arrow City Council opted for a blue-and-white color scheme for the concrete to be used in the $4.4 million New Orleans Square street revitalization project.

Adding the extra colors to the design is going cost an extra $230,000, which will be covered in the project budget. But some council members and many of those speaking publicly Monday said the extra “pop” is worth the cost.

Ward 3 Council member Christi Gillespie, who has been championing the revitalization project, noted that more than $43 million has been poured into the Rose District, and the development that may come to NOS would more than pay back the extra color cost.

Some questions have been raised by residents about how long the concrete will retain its color, pointing to yellow and purple paint used at the intersection - that was as promotion - that faded away fairly quickly.

Tim Robbins, construction division manager for the city, said hardeners and sealants will be used to protect the stamped concrete, and there are also methods of modulating the material in the future to "bring it back to vibrancy" if necessary.

The city’s engineering and construction department presented two options to the council on June 6 — one with warm orange tones and one with cooler blue tones.

Some council members were not satisfied with the options and asked city staff to come back in 2 weeks with alternatives.

City staff worked with Kimley Horn, a professional engineering consulting firm that has been heavily involved with revitalization efforts, to explore various color options along with associated construction costs and time impacts tied to those color options.

Lori Lewis, senior membership and community development director for the Broken Arrow Chamber, said Monday that she leaned toward blue and white.

“That’s because the logo has been selected and the marketing plan developed, and I think that color scheme goes best with what has already been decided and budget has been allocated for,” said Lewis, who was a member of the NOS Advisory Committee. “This may take extra time, but I think it’s important we get it done right the first time.”

Resident Manny Griffiths said the color options presented earlier this month were “dismal” and spending the extra money to incorporate white into the design “is a small investment in the long-term growth of New Orleans Square and the city as a whole.”

City Manager Michael Spurgeon said the extra cost for white is a concern if something unexpected comes up with the project requiring more money, but he still felt the color scheme chosen “is an opportunity to take community to a higher level in terms of expectations.”

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