TULSA, Okla. — If you've driven down Cherry Street lately, you've noticed all the bright orange cones lining up the street, construction equipment and no on-street parking allowed.
"You know months past I could just come here, and it'll be no problem, but recently I've had to go around the parking lot or around the block a handful of times," said Nathan Hall.
He said he visits the Coffee House on Cherry Street a couple of times a week to work out of his laptop, but lately, he has had trouble finding parking close to the coffee shop.
Crews are working to replace an old waterline with a new one and have had to dig into the ground and repave the road.
It is part of the $5.7 million rehabilitation project on Cherry Street, extending from Utica and Peoria Avenue, that started on January 6.
Officials with the City of Tulsa said crews are making progress, and it is on track to finish by September.
Meanwhile, visitors to Cherry Street will have to endure the temporary pain of finding a parking spot a little longer. Many customers, like Hall, don't mind the wait, saying they remain loyal to their favorite shops and restaurants in the area.
“I like this place [Coffee House on Cherry Street], and I know they need people to go in there and purchase from them. I don’t want them to go out of business just because there’s construction," said Hall.
The president of the Cherry Street Merchant Association, Mike Bausch, said businesses are working closely with the City of Tulsa to make this as seamless as possible for customers.
He said "things are moving quickly" and is happy with the progress.
Bausch, who's also the owner of Andolini's, Prossimo and STG on Cherry Street, said his businesses have had "no negative effect" from the construction project.
Currently, the eastbound lane on Cherry Street remains shut down. Only the westbound lane is open, but cars can still go in each direction.
The City of Tulsa's field engineering manager, Ryan McKaskle, explained the finished project will be worth it. There will be back-in angle parking on the north side of the street and parallel parking on the south side of the street between Quaker and Trenton Avenues.
The project will also improve pedestrian crossing by restripping six crosswalks and adding two rapid flashing beacons at all of the collector streets between Utica and Peoria Avenue.
The last phase of the project is expected to start in late summer where drivers should expect another road closure. Cherry Street will be limited to one westbound lane. During this phase, officials say drivers may use 14th Street as a detour to drive eastbound between Utica and Peoria.
McKaskle reminds drivers visiting Cherry Street to remain patient during this massive project, and look out for crews working on the road.
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