2NEWS Investigation: When Tulsa roads will be fixed and streets projects from 2014 through 2019

Many Tulsa roads are in bad shape.

The good news, there's more money going to permanently repair streets. The bad news, there's a massive backlog, meaning roads you drive every day may not see a permanent fix anytime soon.

RELATED: What is Tulsa doing about the pothole problem on city streets?

To put Tulsa roads to the test, we got aboard the Old Urban Trolley. Owner Shannon Terry does transportation for weddings, parties and events.

She took us around town. We quickly learned her ride is a bumpy one.

"There are certain areas of town that we'll stay away from or we'll try too or we'll detour out of the way to try to not go down those bumpy roads," said Terry.

You feel every bump in the trolley.

She took us to some of the worst spots, like south Peoria Avenue between 41st and 51st.

"This is not manholes," she told as she drove, "This is just bumps, and we're going 20 miles per hour," said Terry.

It was getting repaved at the time, a temporary fix that crews hope will last a of couple years. It's now a much smoother drive. Plus, permanent repairs are planned for Peoria from 41st to 51st, but not until 2018 or later.

This map shows every street project slated for 2014. At the bottom of this story are links to the projects scheduled for the next five years.

Our journey continued north. Terry took us to 15th street between Lewis and Utica.

It's a popular area for trolley riders, since it's just half a mile from Cherry Street, but the ride was far from smooth. It left us bouncing out of our seats.

The ride likely won't improve anytime soon. It is not on the list for rehabilitation, meaning it could take close to a decade or more before it is fixed.

"I would like to see it in the plans," said Terry.

Then we traveled through Brookside, another hot spot for the trolley.

There were some rough spots, but it too isn't getting a permanent repair.

South Peoria from 21st to 41st is not part of the plan for the next nine years.

"I know there's plans, but maybe some of these streets need to be tended to sooner," said Terry.

Laken Gooch agrees. She owns a food truck and the roads are taking a bite out of it.

"There is quite a bit of wear and tear on our trailer," said Gooch, owner of Lick Your Lips mini-donuts.

In fact, Gooch said the roads tore up their truck's plumbing three times in four months.

"It's definitely been a trying experience," she said.

We wanted to know why some streets that are riddled with potholes aren't on the list to be fixed.

So we sat down with Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum.

"We're playing catch up because of a lot of decisions that have been made over half a century," said Bynum.

Bynum says for decades the city didn't invest in streets, that led to a maintenance backlog that totals upwards of a billion dollars.

It took us half a century to get into this problem and it's going to take probably about a decade to climb out of that hole," said Bynum.

What's worse, the streets that are falling apart, if they aren't on the list, they won't see any major repairs for the next nine years or more.

Engineers say crews will patch the bad roads, but they're not going into invest too much. Why? 

Engineers say it's better to put the money into maintaining streets that are in good condition and prolong their life, rather than investing money into a street that's already gone.

"If you can get the streets in good condition, you have the opportunity to do preventative maintenance," said Matt Liechti, the Planning and Coordination Manager for the Engineering Services Department for the City of Tulsa.

There is some good news, Tulsans have passed two sales tax packages to pay to rehab the roads and it is starting to pay off.

"We have stopped the deterioration and there's starting to be an upswing in the condition of the streets," said Liechti.

Still, the road to improvement may be a bumpy one, at least for the next 10 years.

"I love Tulsa. I love what Tulsa has to offer. I do feel like some of our roads need attention sooner than what they're going to get," said Terry.


Projects slated for 2015.

Projects slated for 2016.

Projects slated for 2017.

Projects slated for 2018.

Projects slated for 2019.

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