Holiday-Time Roadwork Expected To Cut Into Tulsa Business Profits

Wednesday, October 5th 2016, 2:28 pm
By: Tess Maune

Road work started Wednesday on stretch of a busy Tulsa street. Harvard between 31st and 41st will go down to one lane for a waterline replacement.  Some local business owners said it couldn't have come at a worse time. 

As Tulsa street crews are busy getting ready for the latest road project, businesses like Sweet Tooth Candy and Gifts are preparing for the holiday shopping season.

"They're ready to shop, and we just want to make it as easy as possible," said Jeff Darby, owner of Sweet Tooth Candy and Gifts.

Darby says this season it's going to be more difficult for his shoppers to get to his store because the street in front of his shop is going to be under construction for a waterline replacement project.

"It will cause some disruption, and it will cause some traffic problems like all construction in the middle of the road does," said Britt Vance. Tulsa field engineer manager.

City engineers say Harvard from 39th to 36th will go down to two lanes in the first phase which starts this week. Then 36th to 32nd will follow suit in phase two.

The city says it hopes to have first half of the project my mid-November, then they'll take a break until the first of January. That way these shops won't have to miss out on all the holiday business.

But Darby says a lot of the damage will have been done by then.  The last quarter makes up for almost 40 percent of his yearly business.

"So it's a huge chunk; it's a lot," said Sweet Tooth Candy and Gifts owner Jeff Darby.

He says there just aren't enough days to make up what could be lost in the next month and a half, and any little distraction that makes it harder for people to reach you is a challenge. 

The city says it there will be ways to access all the businesses along the construction route. The entire project should be complete early next year.