Portion of Peoria Avenue closed because of street rehab project

Monday, November 7th 2005, 10:36 am
By: News On 6

A road closure on one of Tulsa's busiest streets. Peoria Avenue will be a bottleneck for a few months while it's under re-construction.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Monday was the first day of a road project that has closed 3 lanes of Peoria. The city plans to rebuild it, and make it smoother, but it won't be any wider.

Peoria is one of Tulsa's busiest streets and it will be down to one lane all winter. Motorist: "It's not fun; especially I go this way to work.”

The barricades went up Monday morning to narrow Peoria down to 1 lane. The transition is already causing confusion. One driver tried to go past all the signs and go north - but she had to back up. The project covers Peoria from 21st down to 31st.

The northbound lanes are closed and there's only one lane open southbound. It's going to be that way until March.

When the project is done, Peoria won't be any wider, but one of the annoying features of the road will be gone. The storm drain grates that now rock cars that drive over them will be moved out of the lane of traffic.

The city's engineer wanted to keep 2 lanes open during construction - but the street is too narrow for big vehicles to pass. City of Tulsa engineering manager Albert Martinez: "and we had an incident, an ambulance tried to come through and as the car slid over to let it by, the road's not wide enough, it clipped one of the cars."

The $1.7-million project is almost a complete overhaul. The city plans to replace a mile of the cracked asphalt, and put down a new sidewalk on the east side.

Paving Peoria is going to be a hassle for drivers, but it should be better when it's done. Motorist: "and it hits and causes us problem, so that could be a good thing.'

Even though some of the problems on Peoria will be solved the city backed off a plan to widen Peoria. It was going to be rebuilt to modern design standards, with wider lanes, but the neighborhood objected and the plan was dropped.