Tulsa traffic engineers continue monitoring traffic flows two weeks into the closure of Riverside Drive. The road will be closed for two years as the Gathering Place park is constructed.
Engineers are monitoring how detours are affecting drivers, neighbors and businesses in the area. Video from Osage Skynews 6 HD shows traffic in the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 75 is clogging up and causing delays. The same can be said for streets like Peoria that are seeing more traffic.
The usually busy Riverside Drive is closed for the construction of the $350 million Gathering Place park project. It's on Peoria between 21st and 41st where you'll find drivers taking the detour.
Busier than normal," said driver Robyn Nettles. "It's still not terrible, as you can see right now it's not that bad, it's definitely more of a pain. I try to avoid it if possible, but it's kind of hard because there's really not a good way to get down to my house without coming this way,"
"It makes it tough with everybody coming off of Riverside going down Peoria. It makes it a little harder some times of the day, you know?" said Paul Kohler, K & L Lawn.
City of Tulsa engineers are watching the increased traffic on Brookside and parts of the Maple Ridge neighborhood. So far the city has only received 17 comments or complaints from residents.
Peoria and 21st Street is still the most congested.
Paul Zachary said cars are still trying to take shortcuts through neighborhoods like one at 21st and Owasso to avoid busy intersections.
"We don't want cut through traffic, that's been our number one concern is that people start abusing that then we will have to ratchet it down then it become and inconvenience for the people that live there," said Paul Zachary, City of Tulsa.
Since the closure two weeks ago, some traffic has spilled onto interstates and highways.
"It's picked up traffic, but the stop and go issues on the outbound. Haven't really noticed them being any worse than what they've been historically," said Paul Zachary, City of Tulsa.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says commuters will eventually adjust to a new route and traffic delays will subside.
"It will take some adjustment to get used to the highway peak travel times, so certainly in the morning and late afternoon there will be busy time s for drivers, but I think with any closure especially on the state highway system we typically see that it takes a few weeks for drivers to adjust," said Kenna Carmon of ODOT.
The city also says police haven't worked any significant crashes as a result of the Riverside detour.