Improving Tulsa's street construction projects

Tuesday, June 25th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa City Hall hopes to make good soon on a promise to streamline road repairs. The mayor wanted fewer street projects going on at once, and better quality repairs so they wouldn't have to be repeated.

News on Six reporter Emory Bryan has a progress report. A city contractor dug out a street for a bottom to top replacement. Work like this is always going to be an inconvenience, but the city council wants to make sure it doesn't drag out any longer than needed. In neighborhoods all over town, the city is rebuilding and repairing streets - with several miles under construction at any given time.

It's a temporary inconvenience for drivers, but Margaret and Bill McCright are happy to see the work on their street. Margaret, "The trucks are by here by 7:15 or 7:30." Bill, "They really are doing a good job." But in the last year - so many drivers complained about road repairs it became a central issue in the city election. City Hall responded with a committee to change how the city writes contracts for repairs.

New contracts might require an extended workday from 7 am - 7 pm; demand contractors have enough equipment and manpower and limit the placement of barrels to no more than 24 hours before work begins. Contractors could have to maintain on-site job superintendents - and city departments will try to eliminate projects on adjacent roads. Charles Hardt, City of Tulsa Public Works: "We have gone through the whole process of analyzing the entire process of construction and the impact to property owners as well as motorists and these are a fine tuning of the current practices, but they will help."

The street maintenance review committee - headed by Councilor Bill Christiansen - will pass along these recommendations to the full council and the mayor. He has the final say. "Some of the problems we've brought up such as doing dual roads at one time will stop, there will be incentives for getting the job done early and penalties if they're not done in the time allowed."

Another recommendation from the committee is that manholes and drainage grates be made level with the new road.