Project will close Riverside in midtown Tulsa

by: Ian Silver Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. - The city of Tulsa is preparing for its first Improve Our Tulsa project to get started, it will require shutting down Riverside drive between 24th and 35th streets.
 
Officials are going to replace utility lines under the road and resurface the street, but they’ve timed it out to coincide with work that will have to be done on the new Gathering Place park so that stretch of road is only torn up once.
 
“That’s going to be pretty rough, you know, because you’ve got the morning traffic. I mean, they’re going to overpower Peoria already,” said Ruford Henderson, who thinks closing Riverside will cause problems.
 
Henderson drives down Riverside all the time and walks on the trails every morning.
 
Melvin Parker drives Riverside regularly and spends his free time fishing. Neither can imagine what closing part of Riverside down will do to traffic in other areas.
 
“It’s going to be a big inconvenience, because there (are) a lot of people that travel this road to go to work and also downtown,” said Parker.
 
The project isn’t just affecting drivers.  During the construction they’ll have to shut down a stretch of the River Parks trail and the east entrance to the pedestrian bridge.
 
“They definitely going to be upset about that, that’s going to kill me as far as exercise,” said Henderson.
 
And with limited access to the pedestrian bridge and Parker’s beloved fishing spot.
 
“It’s going to create a problem,” said Parker.
 
And since Henderson never agreed with putting the Gathering Place here in the first place, “I just see a lot of wasted money while other communities need it. So, yeah, the park along with the street, yeah, it is kind of a… it does make you feel pretty pissed about it,” he said.
 
But Parker is more forgiving if we’re left with a better Tulsa after all the mess.
 
“In the end it will probably be worth it, but I mean, a lot of people don’t have the patience,” said Parker.
 
FOX23 learned construction won’t get started until next spring or summer.