Anticipating Growth, City Councilors Look At East Tulsa Infrastructure

Tuesday, December 15th 2015, 8:40 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A Tulsa city councilor said the east side of the city has plenty of land for development, but not the infrastructure for what's there already.

Infrastructure is critical, especially with plans to bring in an outlet mall that will attract more people. The councilor for the area wants more done to improve public safety and roads on the eastern edge of the city.

The far eastern end of 11th Street is hardly recognizable as a city street - it's a winding, lumpy stretch that's been overlooked; but with growth in the area, it's becoming an access road for emergency services.

Tulsa City Councilor Connie Dodson said, "And that road won't support the growth that we know will come and that's something we need to look at in the future."

Some of the growth that's expected is in a now empty field by I-44 at 129th East Avenue. It's the planned location for an outlet mall and the council has the final say on tax incentives that could make or break the deal.

12/2/2015 Related Story: City Setting Sites On Plan For East Tulsa Outlet Mall

Dodson said, "And we looked at the proposed mall site and we'll be voting on that this week. We'll have the final public hearing and the vote to hopefully approve the TIF for that development.”

As the city grows, the infrastructure is straining to support it - Fire Station 27 is the busiest one in Tulsa yet responds to areas where arterial streets have dead ends.

It's the good and bad that Dodson wanted her fellow councilors to see.

"We have a huge amount of acreage for growth, but not the infrastructure to support it, so pointing out those needs is a huge priority,” she said.

There are several vision projects being considered for east Tulsa, including a medical clinic, but vision isn't for basic needs like roads, so Dodson is hoping to get some other projects on the radar.