City crews resume work on 71st Street

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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 1/21 6:26 pm Published: 1/21 11:10 am

        You'll see orange cones on a busy stretch of road in west Tulsa again today.  You may have thought work on 71st Street was finished, since crews removed the cones and barrels two months ago, but we're seeing today that they are back.

        Traffic is now restricted to one lane in each direction on 71st Street, just west of the Arkansas River.  The project started around this time last year, but the city suspended work over the holidays, to help ease traffic from all of the shoppers headed to the busy Tulsa Hills Shopping Center.

        "I do avoid it.  I think we all do," said Bo Borchers, who lives in Jenks.  FOX23 interviewed him in the nearby Lowe's parking lot.

        The city says the work is a street rehabilitation project.  We're finding out this work is just one of eleven projects city crews are in the middle of right now, and that's just in District 2, which includes most of west Tulsa.

        When you count other city council districts around Tulsa, you'll find 65 other projects going on now.  Crews have wrapped up work on dozens of others across town.

        Some of this work is paid for by a 2005 bond issue and a 2006 sales tax. 

        The work on 71st Street between the Arkansas River and US 75 is covered by the five year "Fix Our Streets" plan, approved in 2008.  Crews started working on street rehabilitation here in January 2013, but took the cones and barrels down in early November, to help the flow of traffic headed to Tulsa Hills.

        We caught up with shoppers who tell FOX23 they're prepared for construction on 71st Street.
        "(It's) gotta be done," Borcher said.

        The city basically tells FOX23 the same thing, saying the reason our streets need this much work is because of sprawl.  Tulsa has grown 300% in land area, over the past 40 years, and the population has only grown 12%.  Revenues have dropped, so maintenance was postponed, and streets deteriorated.
        Crews will be working on different stretches of 71st Street between the Arkansas River and US 75, so look for various lane closures 24 hours a day, until they wrap up and finish the work in April.


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