Gathering Place Construction To Close Riverside Drive For Two Years

Wednesday, June 24th 2015, 11:28 pm
By: News On 6

In just a few weeks, a stretch of Riverside Drive will close for two years; causing a major traffic headache for the 32,000 Tulsa drivers a day who go that way.

The city said Riverside from 24th to 41st Street will shut down for the Gathering Place construction, forcing drivers to find a detour.

Special Coverage: A Gathering Place For Tulsa

A fence already blocks off a large section of River Park trails, and soon more closed signs will go up.

"Today I'm going to run the pedestrian bridge over the west bank because I know I won't be able to in the next few weeks or couple years," said Carol Goldsmith.

Matthew Eber said, "It's great to see progress on the park, it will be great for the city, the neighborhood, but it will be a pain for a few years as they work on the road and get it set up."

Eber lives near the area and drives down Riverside a few times every day. He's already dreading the detour through the neighborhood.

"There's already issues, especially in Brookside with people speeding through the neighborhoods, so I worry about that," he said.

If you live in midtown or the south-central part of Tulsa you can take Peoria, Lewis or Harvard to get to the closest highway or go all the way to 15th or 11th to get downtown.

If you live in southeast or southwest Tulsa you can use whatever highway is the closest, so Highway 169 to the Broken Arrow Expressway or the Creek Turnpike to Highway 75.

"It can be a little frustrating and aggravating, just finding another way to come through," Ronald Roberts said.

When Riverside Drive reopens there will be two land bridges connecting the park to the trails, which will transform parts of the road into a tunnel.

"In the end it will be worth the inconvenience, it will be a great park. It's world class and we are lucky to have it in town," Eber said.

The city said the closure will speed up construction as they will be moving heavy machinery and utility lines around.

Riverside will open back up when the Gathering Place opens, which is expected to be in late 2017.