Tulsa's I-44 widening project explained

Thursday, November 3rd 2005, 4:33 pm
By: News On 6

People in the path of the I-44 expansion held a meeting with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Thursday evening, to find out more about the plan, and when the bulldozers will be rolling through.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says the residents and the business-owners really just want to know when. When are they going to have to move, but they don't have that answer yet.

The owners of the MotoPhoto at 51st and Harvard, Don and Judy Beil have been developing pictures in the shadow of I-44 for the past eight years, but the future picture is blurry. Judy Beil: "Our concerns are not knowing when, not knowing if they will be offering us enough money to relocate and start and advertise and let our customers know where we are."

About half the funding has been authorized by the federal government, but it's not clear if the money is actually available or over what period of time it will be made available.

Ray Sanders with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation: "Definitive schedules for the right of way acquisition time has not been determined yet. The schedules for such things as the right of way is going to be determined on a lot of other factors that we're still in the process of trying to develop at this time."

"Right of way acquisition" of course means moving and demolition for stores. The Department of Transportation doesn't know yet if they'll start at Yale and move west or start at Riverside and move east or start somewhere in the middle.

Judy Beil: "Mostly just being in limbo and not knowing what's going to happen is our biggest concern right now."

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has a map, outlining the planned path of the road. Click Here to view that map [pdf file].