76th Street North construction update


Thursday, December 9th 2004, 10:30 am
By: News On 6


It could be several more months before traffic is flowing again on 76th Street North near Owasso.

The road has closed for a road widening project between Owasso's Main Street and Memorial. But when will it open? News on 6 anchor Craig Day has a construction update.

76th Street North is a major commuting route, normally used by thousands of drivers each day. Drivers can't wait for it to open.

Commuters don’t like to see those orange barrels and signs. Every day crews can work, means one more day closer to the road reopening.

Owasso resident Tarah Escobar: "It needs to be finished just as soon as possible, because a lot of people work up here, like my mom and it's just a hassle having to go all the way around."

76th Street North has been closed for months while crews work on the $4.5-million three mile project. The two lane road is being widened to four lanes. According to the most recent traffic estimates, 28,000 cars travel down this stretch of 76th Street North each day. Many go to the nearby Cherokee Industrial Park. Other drivers travel back and forth to downtown Tulsa.

Construction crews planned on three to five days of poor weather in November. Instead, there were 17 days crews couldn't work. But Tulsa County Engineer Ray Jordan says the project should still be finished by next spring, on schedule. “Anytime you are above 40, you can do pavement. Hopefully, we'll get a couple of good weeks of fairly dry weather and above 40 and we can proceed."

That is the hope of many commuters, who can't wait until their patience pays off. Motorist David Gates: "Right now it's a pain in the neck. But it is something you've got to live with.”

Even though the entire section of 76th Street North won't be open until the spring, there is some good news. Small sections of the road may be opened for short periods of time after the first of the year.