After Being Closed For Years, Downtown Tulsa Street Reopens

Friday, July 29th 2016, 12:03 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The new extension of West 5th Street in downtown Tulsa reopened Friday. The street between Denver and Elwood has been closed for years.  

Osage Sky News 6 HD flew over the plaza in 2012, and now, it has a new look and a new purpose.

"It looks clean and more modern,” said Municipal Clerk Darla Gunion. “I think it'll be more convenient hopefully."

"I think it's a welcome change,” added Doerner Saunders Law Firm Clerk Booker Gillespie. “It looks nice."

Gillespie walks through the plaza every day and has watched the changes take place over the years.

"I remember when it was just like, kind of an open plaza,” Gillespie recalled. “It even used to be a venue for Mayfest; they would have stages over there, and I remember listening to a performer one year."

The street is equipped with new traffic signals between 5th and Denver.

There's also five-minute drop off zones on both sides of the street, for easier access to the courthouse and the library.

"Where you used to have to drop off people on the other side, and I don't know what it's gonna look like on the other side of the library, but you weren't able to drop off anybody on this side, on the south side” Gillespie explained. “I think it should make some people's lives easier."

The city says it should also be easier for firefighters to get to the Aloft Tulsa Downtown Hotel if needed.

Although Gunion says the upgrades won't affect her commute to work at the Municipal Court, the new look makes her proud.

"I want people to be impressed when they see our city,” said Gunion. “I think Tulsa's a great city, and it should look like it."

The whole project cost the city almost $6 million.