TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Hills will soon be home to newly paved roads and concrete pavement repair. However, the progress on the roads does not come without pain for drivers stuck in traffic every day while the work continues.
According to the city of Tulsa, the repaving project along the one-mile stretch of South Olympia Avenue should be complete on Friday, Sept. 9.
However, there are two other projects taking place at the same time in the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center. The construction work is creating headaches for those who have to drive that stretch of road every day or who work in the shopping center.
It can be a long, slow ride if you’re heading down South Olympia Avenue between West 71st Street and West 81st for work like opening manager Michelle Crumpton who works at Cava.
“It kind of makes it difficult to get to work and is also impacting our service as well,” she said, “it’s not as busy as we used to be beforehand.”
On Aug. 2, the city of Tulsa sent a letter to property and business owners and residents in Tulsa Hills notifying them about the street maintenance project on South Olympia Avenue two weeks before the work started.
The $1.3 million dollar repaving project which began on Aug. 22 is expected to wrap up by Friday, September 9th.
“It will look like a brand new road surface, it will be restriped,” explained Terry Ball, the Director of Streets and Stormwater for Tulsa. “After September 10th you’ll have a very nice driving surface there on Olympia.”
Ball said the city was not aware that the shopping center had planned to do its own road work at the same time.
He reminds drivers to drive with caution while all of the road work is taking place.
Tulsa Hills Drive, which is privately owned, is undergoing a complete replacement by the shopping center owners.
The drive, which has been closed at 71st since Aug. 17 is expected to reopen on Tuesday according to Wendy Ellis, the President of Ellis Marketing who handles media inquiries for the shopping center.
Drivers in the shopping center are also impacted by the work underway at Lowe’s where a portion of their parking lot is being replaced.
Diana Leal, a business assistant at Tulsa Hills Dental Care said all of the road work has them answering a lot of phone calls.
“We’ve been getting calls nonstop, we sound like a broken record machine,” Leal said. “For us right here there’s only one exit and one entrance.”
Beginning next week, the road behind McDonald’s, Arby’s and Chick-Fil-A will also undergo upgrades.
Weather permitting, the work is expected to be complete on or before Oct. 15. Ellis said the whole point of doing the work now is to have it done and ready to go ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Ball said part of the city’s motivation for completing the work along South Olympia Avenue is to have it done before ODOT replaces the 81st Street bridge in fiscal year 2024.
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