Race On To Finish Fairgrounds' Work

Tuesday, March 4th 2008, 6:45 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa County is in a race against the clock as it tries to finish a massive construction project on the Tulsa County Fairgrounds' midway.  The project was nine weeks behind schedule because of the ice storm.  The News On 6's Steve Berg reports they say they've now got that down to two weeks.

There's almost no room for error because where all the construction is going on, is where the Tulsa State Fair has to go.

The two biggest pieces in a rearranging puzzle at the fairgrounds are a new Exchange Center and a major reworking of the midway, lowering the west end as much as 12 feet, while raising the east end around the same amount.

"It does not have the dramatic shift in elevation that it has had in the past," said Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo.

Simply put, says Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo, it's hard to have that much material sitting around and still have room to work on the next step in the project.

"The questions were:  where are we going to put the dirt?  And, with removing the pad for the Exchange Center, we had to have places to put that dirt so we could bring it to grade.  That was part of the midway project as well, and that's why each worked off of the other," said Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo.

Work came to a complete stop when hundreds of electrical trucks were parked on the site during the ice storm.

"We knew we were going to be taking a little bit of a time and financial hit to do that, but it was well worth it," said Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo.

The county also has to demolish the old Trade Center and the Expo Building's kitchen between now and September.  But, Smaligo says they can get it done between now and the fairgrounds' two biggest events.

"This entire fairgrounds will absolutely be ready for the state fair and subsequently be ready for the Arabian show right after that," said Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo.

They need nice weather, though, because they say there are no weather days built into the schedule.