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'It sucks': Summer road construction heavy this year in Tulsa

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jun 12, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — City of Tulsa Public Works confirms summer months generally involve the highest amount of road work on major city streets and in neighborhoods, and this year has one of the highest amounts of crews out in recent memory.

"We are wrapping up a lot of our Vision program. Our transportation is really picking up because we're getting so much out of our utility relocation folks," Public Works Deputy Director Paul Zachary told 2 News June 12, amid several new projects getting underway you can learn more about here.

Zachary said even more closures could have gotten underway than already are so far, but doing so in congested areas too close to one another would disrupt traffic in unsafe manners.
"This is the time to construct. We can't do a lot of this stuff over the winter times. So it is all the paving, all that kind of stuff," he added.

This interactive map from the city website shows every planned or ongoing project for the summer and beyond.

Tulsa summer road construction map.png

Zachary said they're all part of the three Improve Our Tulsa initiatives to modernize streets, drainage, and sidewalks up to standard.

As always, these projects involve some literal turn-offs, like turning off the road to get to your neighborhood, your apartment complex, or local shops like on South Delaware Avenue. As of June, traffic can only use the stretch between 91st and 81st Streets to go northbound. The southbound lane is blocked, forcing traffic to detour elsewhere.

"It sucks, I'm telling you," Liberty Laundry employee Catie Ratcliffe said, adding the closure has been a "nightmare" for customers and others.

We checked in with the progress on Peoria in April:

'It's been rough': Local diner down 40% amid road construction on Peoria

"Whenever it rains, it was already the issue with this road. But since there's only one way now, I personally have witnessed a school bus basically (get) picked up by the water and stalled.

"Just this morning one of my customers came. And he says, 'I feel like an idiot because I was going the wrong way down the road.' so it's very confusing for people."

Zachary said there will be plenty of kinks in rearranged traffic routes to test drivers' patience through September at least, but the priority remains:

"We want to get the streets done in the most efficient way that we can," Zachary said.


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