Tulsa City Council to vote on street-fixing changes
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Friday, October 05, 2012
10/05/12 at 7:12 AM
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Twenty-two street projects are to be sped up and one street project critical to a new downtown hotel will be funded with $26.3 million in cost savings within the Fix Our Streets tax program.
Tulsa's City Council is expected to vote on the related proposed budget amendments next week.
The projects are set to be transferred between the sales tax portion and the general obligation bond portion of the $452 million Fix Our Streets effort, which was approved by city voters in 2008.
The sales tax side of the package has suffered a $31.6 million revenue shortfall due to the recession of the past few years, Capital Planning Manager Gary Hamer told the City Council on Thursday.
But $21.5 million in cost savings and $4.8 million in federal stimulus dollars on the bond side are available to absorb the sales tax projects that otherwise would not be funded, Hamer said. "We are essentially making the Fix Our Streets program whole," he said.
This will allow 22 projects to move forward by about nine months in the Fix Our Streets schedule because the bond money is available immediately.
Also, $5 million can be devoted to a new project - the opening of Fifth Street between Denver and Frisco avenues through the Civic Center Plaza.
That is needed to allow the Fire Department direct access to the new Aloft hotel in the former City Hall building.
Opening the street was part of the contract agreement reached between the city and the hotel developers as part of the building's sale.
Tori Snyder of the development group TOCH LLC told the Tulsa World the hotel is expected to open in January. Developers are working with Fire Department officials on a temporary access plan until the street is complete.
The 22 street projects that are being moved up in the Fix Our Streets schedule include the construction of four projects and the design and engineering on 18 others. There's also some money for citywide general engineering and nonarterial rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Engineering Services Department Director Paul Zachary said the projects might have had to wait until a renewal of the Fix Our Streets package if the savings weren't available.
"As it is, we're going to get a nine-month jump on them," he said.
22 street projects may be sped up
Design and engineering:
- 129th East Avenue from Admiral Boulevard to Pine Street
- Pine Street and 129th East Avenue intersection
- Admiral Boulevard from Mingo to Garnett roads
- Harvard Avenue from 61st to 51st streets
Original Print Headline: City Council to vote on accelerating street repair
- 61st Street and Memorial Drive intersection
- Apache Street from Yale Avenue to Sheridan Road
- Cincinnati and Detroit avenues from Interstate 244 to Jasper Street
- Harvard Avenue from Admiral Boulevard to Pine Street
- Lewis Avenue from 36th to 46th streets north
- Memorial Drive from 21st to 11th streets
- Mingo Road from 41st to 31st streets
- Pine Street from Yale Avenue to Sheridan Road
- River Road from 111th to 101st streets
- River Road from 121st to 111th streets
- Riverside Drive from 41st to 31st streets
- Union Avenue from 51st to 41st streets
- Yale Avenue from 111th to 101st streets
- 21st Street and Utica Avenue intersection
- 31st Street and Harvard Avenue intersection
- 36th Street North and Lewis Avenue intersection
- 41st Street and Harvard Avenue intersection
- Pine Street and Yale Avenue intersection
Brian Barber 918-581-8322
Declining sales tax revenue in the recession forced a delay in funding street projects, but a plan to use cost savings may advance those projects. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World file