A highway extention project will cost some Tulsa residents their homes. Residents of the impacted area had their chance Monday night at a public meeting to voice their concerns for the Gilcrease Expressway project's north leg.
A few months down the road, some homes in the affected area will be replaced with a $51,000,000 extension to the Gilcrease expressway. City officials say they know they will have to remove at least four homes, but they haven't determined the exact number. The process will happen soon.
Bill Cyganovich with the city's transportation department talked to residents a year ago about the project and he says the feedback is good. "We haven't heard any negative concerns," said Cyganovich. "The biggest concern we hear from the people is, 'when are you going to come and buy our property so we can go on with our lives.'"
Neighbors say they don't mind selling their houses to the city as long as they get enough money to relocate to a comparable home. The Gilcrease project is called Northlake. It will start at U.S. Highway 75 and Highway 11 and connect to the Tisdale Parkway. Cyganovich says it will take at least four years to build using city, state, and federal dollars. He says the city needs the expansion because of growth. But a plan created nearly 30 years ago is the actual reason the extension is being built. "This is part of the expressway system for the city of Tulsa that we designed way back in the early 1960's, he said. "We're just completing the final phases of what we call the outer loop." Cyganovich says the expansion will be built mainly on undeveloped land. He says that was planned so not many residents would have to sacrifice for progress.