Massive riverfront plans could mean big headaches for Tulsans who use Riverside Drive. In order to develop the riverfront crews need to make sure the infrastructure is where it needs to be to support the project.
Tuesday night, neighbors learned what to expect while the project is still in the design phases, because those designs are soon going to be reality.
Neighbors studied the plans closely, trying to grasp exactly how the project impacts them.
In order to fully develop The Gathering Place along Riverside Drive, crews need to improve sidewalks, water lines, sewers and stormwater systems.
“This isn’t just a normal street project. We’ve got major stormwater systems that drain neighborhoods that are to the east of The Gathering with long-standing flooding problems,” said City Engineer Paul Zachary.
Construction is set to begin next summer and bring with it some detours along the 11 block strip of Riverside.
“The road is actually getting shifted a little bit to the west for the construction of the pedestrian bridges, so there’s gonna be some times when we have total closures,” Zachary said.
The group had some definite concerns with that.
“Our concern is just the impact on the neighborhood during construction, the increase in traffic,” said Neighborhood Association President, Steven Welch.
The roadway geometry and lighting will also be improved and the speed limit will drop to 35 miles per hour; engineers assured the crowd it will make for safer driving.
Overall on Tuesday, the neighborhood seemed on board with the plans.
“This is gonna be one of the best things that’s ever happened for Tulsa, so we’re very pleased about it and ready to work with the foundation and the city on any aspect of it,” said Welch.
Zachary said, “It’s going to be such a huge improvement. It’s gonna be well worth the wait.”
Tuesday night was just the first of several meetings to inform the public on the massive project. The city hopes for it to be completed by 2017.