Tulsa Businesses Relieved Road Work At 61st And Sheridan Done

Friday, August 11th 2017, 10:27 pm

A major road project at a Tulsa intersection finished up today.

It's been a detour for drivers and a drain on nearby businesses.

It was a frustration for drivers, but they could avoid it.

The businesses were stuck and they couldn't be happier it's over.

The area of 61st and Sheridan is, for the first time this year, clear of orange barrels, with all lanes open in all directions.

Since January, this arterial intersection was been narrowed down, and sometimes limited to right turns only.

"We've been pretty slow because of it. A lot of people had a hard time getting here," said James Hale of Bob Keathley Opticians.

At Bob Keathley Opticians, business was down 20 to 40 percent, depending on construction.

"This week we've already picked up so I'm hopeful that's a sign of things to come," Hale said.

The city dug up and replaced a 48-inch water line that ran down 61st, and replaced the street, curbs and traffic signals, too.

And it was the final piece of construction east and north of the intersection.

"Every time we turned around it was a new project going on because they just finished 51st to 61st," said Leon Garner of B&G Travis Locksmith.

The locksmith business wasn't hit hard because the owner says they rely more on long-time customers who would come in regardless.

"It seems like the nightmare goes on forever but all of a sudden it's over and we're OK," Garner said.

On the opposite corner, Tally's Cafe is in the final stages of rebuilding and hopes to open soon.

Their customers will have no trouble with construction.

Unlike the Fox Cleaners which had to offer a 20-percent discount to pull in traffic.

"They finished up this side, then they blocked it off and did the other side; it was crazy and horrible," said Daniela Marrufo of Fox Cleaners.

The city councilor for this area, Anna America, is encouraging people to support these businesses, to help them recover from the construction.