61st Street Closed For 60 Days For Widening Project

Monday, October 18th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

More construction headaches for Tulsa drivers. All over the city, streets are being widened and resurfaced. Starting this morning, you won't be able to make it all the way through61st street. About a half-mile between Sheridan and Memorial will be closed down for at least two months. Progress is making it's way down 61st street. And it's stopping traffic that'strying to make it through from Memorial to Sheridan. Bill Cyganovich with the city of Tulsa "this street is just too narrow." 61st street is built to handle about 9,000 cars a day, but with development exploding in South Tulsa it's a little overloaded. Cyganovich says "this road here has over 20,000 cars that travel it everyday." So the two lane street is about to be shut down for at least two months and widened to four lanes. The total price tag for widening this mile of 61st street comes to about $4-million. That includes cutting a hill down about 13 feet. The city says taxpayers should see their payoff come next April. Howard Blagg, a 22 year resident says "it all takes time, it's just part of it." Howard Blagg lives a block off 61st. He already mapped out an alternate route to avoid 61st during construction. Others who work and live in the area say the torn up road is an inconvenience they're learning to deal with. Another resident, Pat Fitzgerald says "it's kind of frustrating turning in and out of here you have to go a half mile past the club and work your way back through the neighborhood." This neighborhood isn't alone in the construction woes, much of Tulsa is or has recently been lined with orange barrels and work crews. And other parts of town can look forward to the same scene. Cyganovich says "we've been trying to widen all of the two lane streets in the city limits it's just a matter of their number coming up and we get the funding to do it." The people along 61st say it's about time their street got some attention. They're just hoping that the next 60 days will be a smooth ride. The city traffic engineers suggests taking 71st street or 51st street as alternate routes until the work is finished.