Will all the local road construction have affect on the upcoming US Open Golf Championship tournament? The tournament kicks off at Southern Hills Country Club on June 14th. Not everyone will be there. But as KOTV's Tami Marler says, just about everyone will be affected. At Weber's, the root beer is always flowing. "The best root beer in town right here."
Weber's is just one of the businesses in the Southern Hills Country Club area, gearing up to impress about 35,000 visitors. City workers are putting the finishing touches on all roads leading to the US Open. Area leaders expect between $56 and 60 million to pour into the economy. Weber's managers are hoping for a piece of it. Greg Kennedy, Weber's Manager: "We're gonna have to order a whole lot more and just has it on hand. Hopefully we'll be able to use it all. I don't know what to expect as far as the parking lot. That's my biggest concern is of course people parking." But Weber's has a remedy. "If you park in the parking lot and you're not supposed to be here, we'll have a service come and pick it up, and it will be on your own cost to pick it up." Area businesses and city officials are concerned about US Open visitors parking in the wrong places. The city has placed between 750 and 800 'no parking' signs in the area. In fact, ORU is the only designated parking lot.
The Department of Transportation and the City of Tulsa created a series of signs to help direct traffic, with one major goal. Darryl French, Traffic Control Engineer: "Find the best routes to get from all of the expressways to the arterial streets, to eventually get to 81st and Lewis to the major ORU parking lots." But the best routes to Southern Hills won't necessarily be the ones that make the most sense. Traffic experts say 61st Street between Lewis and Harvard will be closed, unless you can prove you belong there. And they say between about 41st and 81st, it's best to avoid Lewis and Harvard altogether. Greg Kennedy: "We're really excited about it, you know, we really don't know what to expect."
Nobody knows quite what to expect when the world converges on Tulsa. The US Open is providing shuttle service from ORU to Southern Hills. Businesses and city officials say they will strictly monitor parking for the Open.