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Midtown construction delays causing headaches for drivers and businesses

Posted at 5:04 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 19:13:13-05

TULSA -- Residents and businesses in the 15th and Lewis area are wondering when construction will wrap up at the busy intersection.

"It's been a headache for our neighborhood, it’s been really hard to get out of the neighborhood and out into the main road," says Sam Walker, who lives near 12th and Lewis.

Crews started tearing up and replacing Lewis between 11th and 21st in March of 2018, as part of the "Improve our Tulsa" bond. City engineers say crews have dealt with utility issues, like power poles and gas lines, which have caused delays in the project.

"Yesterday I turned out and I just couldn't believe I saw a jack hammer tear up brand new asphalt, it just makes you angry really," says Walker.

Engineers say the hole at 12th and Lewis was recently dug up because the city was waiting for a permit to work on the north and south sections of the railroad tracks, and they hope to have those filled within the next few days.

"We’re all really excited about all of the work that’s going on around here, we’re just kind of frustrated by the delay of the progress," said Walker.

Residents aren't the only ones impacted by the construction.

"It’s made our business a lot slower, people have to weave in and out of the construction, it’s made a lot of people go other places," said Jodi Hancock, who works at Duffy's Restaurant.

Duffy's Restaurant, which has sat at 15th and Lewis for nearly 25 years, says they're down about 50 percent because of the traffic nightmare.

"Just hope they get finished soon, it affects all of our pocketbooks for sure," said Hancock.

City engineers say the contract is up in January of 2019, and if crews don't finish in time, it'll come out of the contractors pocket.

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