Questions Raised On Progress Of Tulsa Construction Project At 31st And Yale

Monday, August 30th 2010, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Orange construction cones are a staple these days in Tulsa. Several road projects are under way and Tulsa drivers are asked to be patient as the work progresses.

But one concerned driver says he doesn't see any progress in a construction zone at 31st and Yale, and he wants to know why.

The stretch of Yale Avenue, between 31st and 36th, is bustling with traffic. But some businesses feel like the construction work in that area is at a screeching halt.

"Business is slow because all the cones are up, but yet the construction workers aren't doing any work," said Justin Engle, Privacy Tint Owner.

Engle has been in business for five months, the entire time battling construction.

"Every tint job I do, I throw in a free car wash or vacuum just as a token like, 'hey, thanks for crossing the ravine out front,'" said Engle.

This is a City of Tulsa project. Construction started in January, shutting down one lane in each direction.

"It's been dropping it a little bit, a lot of bit actually," said Bobby Rankin, U-Haul Yale Avenue General Manager.

Rankin says his business has done a U-turn.

"Knowing that I could have potential business and customers and keep growing this store bigger, it's doing the opposite effect. They're going somewhere else and giving their business elsewhere and it's just really frustrating," said Rankin. 

Even the customers Rankin does snag are chiming in.

"It's a pain just coming down this street," one customer said. 

And other customers must agree. The owner of Fortune Chef says, unfortunately, business is down 30 percent. 

And a liquor store actually has a sign posted with construction hours of operation, as some found out the hard way. 

Back at Privacy Tint, Engle plans to have a grand opening after the construction is finished.

"Construction is killing business, it really is and it's a shame," said Engle.

A city spokeswoman says the project is slated for completion in October. The original finish date was September, but several rainy days in July pushed things back. She says everything else has gone as planned.

For a complete view of city of Tulsa projects, visit