Area Streets Far From Being Fixed

Thursday, February 7th 2008, 7:42 am
By: News On 6

They are some of Tulsa's worst streets and resident say they want them repaired.  It's an issue that's partially responsible for knocking down the recent river tax and other proposals.  Residents say it's time the streets are at the top of the city's "to do" list.  Six In The Morning reporter Carina Sonn has been researching the worst streets in the city.

The area near 21st and Yale may not be one of the worst streets in Tulsa, but according to the Mayor's Action Center people complain about it a lot.

Other areas that have been called about include Harvard from 41st to 51st, Yale from Admiral to 11th, Memorial from Admiral to 21st and Mingo from 31st to 41st street.

So what does a phone call to the Mayor get you?

A crew will usually come out and make a temporary repair to the pothole, but permanent fixes come from sales tax and bond issues.  The problem is there's just not enough money.

Paul Zachary is with the Public Works Department.  He says streets are rated on a percentage system, 90% is an A, 80% a B, and so on.

If funding isn't increased soon, Tulsa will really be in trouble.

"We're losing ground.  We're in the 60s right now in both our systems and 2012, 2013, we're looking at getting down into the 50s so everybody makes a deal about having a D grade right now, without something happening we're going to be heading toward an F," said Zachary.

Zachary says 92% of the projects that should be done are on the cutting room floor because of a lack of funding. 

And the 2005 bond money, which included more than $150 million to transportation, had to pay for widening projects and potholes, not just long term street maintenance.

And it's an issue that won't go away.  Streets deteriorate and lose value as soon as they're put in.  Officials are trying to find a permanent solution and we'll be talking about those ideas throughout the month.

If you would like to report a pothole, call the Mayor's Action Center at 596-2100.  A city crew will come fill the hole eventually, but officials warn it's only a quick fix and once it rains or snows it will deteriorate.