Detour Angers Osage County Residents

Friday, March 6th 2009, 6:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

OSAGE COUNTY, OK -- A road construction project is causing a detour dilemma.

Residents say road work in their neighborhood in Osage County just north of Tulsa is cutting off convenient access.

When construction began on the stretch of North 41st West Avenue, people were thrilled. It was a long time coming for the road, which was in bad shape.

But now that construction is under way, residents aren't so thrilled.

"It's a huge, huge, huge loop," Julie Robinson said.

Robinson and her neighbors say the project is costing them time and money because part of the road is blocked. They say they can't get anywhere without a detour.

"Financially, I'm a single mother on a fixed income, I can't afford to spend an extra $40, $50 a week on gas," Robinson said.

The residents hope construction crews can build a temporary access road to the south.

Not only do they think the road construction project is an inconvenience, but many people who live in this area are also worried that fire trucks and ambulances will be delayed if there is an emergency in the area.

"Five miles isn't that big a deal, but if there is an emergency, it is," Diane Casto said.

"For us, if we needed emergency vehicles -- police, fire, EMSA -- five minutes could make a difference in life and death," Robinson said.

A 1.2-mile section of the road is being widened with shoulders added. It's expected to be finished in the fall.

The county commissioner for the area says once a new base for the road is put in, construction crews will open up temporary lanes to give residents and emergency vehicles better access.