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Tulsa Road Construction Projects Clog Back To School Traffic

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For the most part, the first day of classes for Tulsa Public School ran smoothly. Outside, on the other hand, at several Tulsa schools, the school zone was also a construction zone.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says as soon as the school day started, we started getting reports from parents about road construction projects that were clogging up traffic around schools.

There's a major road project in front of Penn Elementary and Monroe Middle School - and every parent gets to drive right through it. Parent Teddra Beard: "The first day of all days, and it rains on top of that, and then you have this, makes it a hard day."

The job is a complete street overhaul and the sloppiest point in the work came at the worst possible time - the first day of school.

The orange barrels are everywhere and as bad as the road is now - it was even worse Monday morning. The contractor came out - on the first day of school - and paved the road.

Connie Thomas drove her little car through the slop - and came out on the other side wondering how the city could be so inconsiderate. “Why wasn't done? Instead of waiting until school starts and having this big mess?”

The city of Tulsa says it does try to work around what's happening in the neighborhoods - but this project was too much to do over the summer. Bob Bledsoe with city of Tulsa Public Works: "Sometimes you just can't avoid inconveniences for schools or businesses or residents in the neighborhood."

But the problems extend to even smaller scale projects like one at 36th and Rockford, outside Eliot Elementary. The city is replacing older smaller water lines with larger ones. Though this equipment sat idle for most of the summer, work started full steam - just as school started.

The Tulsa city councilor for the area says the contractor was delayed on another job - and put off this work to focus on what was deemed more important work on 36th and Peoria. It's all supposed to be done by November.

That job is nothing compared to the mess created at 2100 East 48th Street North. The school district says it's reviewing the problem to see if traffic should be rerouted for safety - and whether students should be walking home through this construction.
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