When Will Delayed Construction Resume?

Tuesday, March 10th 2009, 6:30 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- There's construction ahead on 12 projects the City of Tulsa delayed because of a fraud investigation.  The question is:  when will that construction get started again?

Orange barrels line Admiral Boulevard, but construction stopped two months ago.  The city shut it down when it was connected to the fraud investigation.  Matt Buckley sells cars on Admiral and he says the road work cuts into business.

"We don't do a lot of advertising here, so basically we rely on people driving by and seeing our deals," said Matt Buckley with RB Auto Sales.

At city hall, the mayor says the cost of finishing out most of the contracts falls to bonding companies for the indicted contractors.  Two bridge contracts might end up costing the city.

"We estimate that it could cost another $114,000 to hire another firm to complete these two bridge projects and we're evaluating options and firms that can do that quickly and I expect we'll have that decision within the next week," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Until the city can work the issues with the bonding companies, the barrels will remain in place.  Once a new contractor is picked, they'll have 30 days to get on the job.

But for now, two lanes of Sheridan Road are blocked off for a mile long street rebuilding project that's at a dead stop.

Another big project, the Fred Creek drainage channel through the ORU campus, stopped when the indictments came out.  The city wants it finished before a heavy rain comes that could cause more flooding.

The streets projects, like Admiral Boulevard, are urgent because they can be a safety hazard.

But, for Matt Buckley, it's an issue of his family's bottom line.

"We've just been waiting ever since and it's been affecting business," said Matt Buckley with RB Auto Sales.