The City of Tulsa is in the design phase of a project that will impact South Tulsa traffic significantly next year.
The section of Yale between 81st and 91st, sometimes called Signal Hill, is hilly and has several curves that make it difficult to see approaching traffic, leading to accidents on a two-lane road with no room for error.
Expanding it will cost just over $32 million dollars. The massive redo has been in the works for 21 years.
"It will be similar to 71st Street,” said Design Engineering Manager Henry Som De Cerff. “It will be three lanes northbound and three lanes southbound with raised medians and left turn bays for access into the neighborhoods."
For one mile, Yale goes up and over, in between houses on the western slope of the hill.
There was almost enough room for the wider road, but not quite.
The city is buying 26 pieces of property, including a few homes.
"They dedicated right of way for the street, however, due to the retaining walls and some of the design requirements, we have to go buy additional right of way just to way the roadway buildable,’ Som De Cerff explained.
The plan calls for a road 15' lower at the highest point with smoother curves. The six-lane road will have a median and retaining walls along much of it, but don't expect it to be like most Tulsa streets.
“The topography and the abutting development doesn't accommodate a straight street up and over the hill,” said Som De Cerff.
The road work is expected to begin in 2018 after other projects further south on Yale are wrapped up.