Crews stop work in Tulsa Hills area for holiday season

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 11/01/2013 5:37 pm Published: 11/01/2013 4:55 pm

On Friday, Tulsans saw orange cones and barrels going away instead of popping up.

Crews have stopped work on 71st Street from the Arkansas River Bridge to Highway 75 by Tulsa Hills to ease traffic during the holiday shopping season.

"It's been hard at times and backed up a lot, and so you sit quite a bit," said Donnie Sanders, a driver.

Sanders said he's glad to see the orange cones and barrels gone because there's enough traffic here during the holiday shopping rush without them.

"Especially during the holiday season that is upon us, we need to see what we can do to make to the Tulsa Hills area very accessible and convenient for the masses," he said.

But nobody is more relieved than Best Buy general manager Rodney Watson.

"It's never good when your customers struggle to reach you," said Watson.

He's seen a definite drop in sales during the construction and says others in the shopping center have as well since so many people just avoid the area.

"To have for the last, better part of a year, to have it congested the way it's been with the construction's been tough on everybody," he said.

But with the streets clear and cooler weather bringing holiday cheer, Watson is looking forward to a holiday shopping season he hopes will make up for the lost business.

"We are excited, to say the least. We've been counting down the days. We've known that this was the time it was supposed to be completed. And there is excitement all around the shopping center, and I'm sure our customers are excited to be able to get back to us as well. I'm looking forward to seeing just about how much now it will be better," he said.

Crews will still be working on sidewalks and curb lanes, but we won't have extended lane closures until after the holiday season.

They will start back up on the project in January.

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