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Bids on street projects below estimates

Bids on street projects below estimates

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by: BRIAN BARBER
Tulsa World Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
11/17/2009 4:22:19 AM

Bids for nine Tulsa street projects that are being funded with federal stimulus dollars have come in $2.3 million below cost estimates.

City Chief Risk Officer Cathy Criswell said that, due to the turbulent economy, bidding has been especially competitive.

"That's very good news because it means we will have more money to spend on streets," she said during a briefing with councilors last week.

Earlier this year, Tulsa was awarded $15.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act formula grant funding for local projects through the Indian Nations Council of Governments and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Nine arterial street rehabilitation projects that are shovel-ready were selected. The bidding recently took place through ODOT because of the federal funding.

The projects are:

  • Mohawk Boulevard from Cincinnati to Hartford avenues.


  • 31st Street from 129th to 145th East avenues.


  • Yale Avenue from Admiral Place to Pine Street.


  • Southwest Boulevard from 23rd Street to the Arkansas River Bridge.


  • Mingo Road and Admiral Place roundabout.


  • Harvard Avenue from 11th Street to Admiral Place.


  • 41st Street from Interstate 44 to Sheridan Road.


  • Sheridan Road from 11th Street to Admiral Boulevard.


  • Sheridan Road from 11th to 21st streets.


Construction on those projects won't begin until the spring because of ODOT's asphalt-pouring temperature guidelines, said Paul Zachary, the Public Works Department's deputy director of engineering.

City officials have now identified four additional ready-to-go projects for state transportation officials to consider for the surplus money. A decision is expected this year.

Those are:

  • 61st Street from Yale Avenue to Sheridan Road, estimated cost of $1.5 million.


  • Riverside Drive from 68th to 71st streets, estimated cost of $482,000.


  • Lewis Avenue from 21st to 31st streets, estimated cost of $1.2 million.


  • Union Avenue from 71st to 81st streets, estimated cost $840,000.


All of the projects were originally set to be funded through the Fix the Streets, third-penny sales tax or general obligation bond initiatives.

Because some will be funded with stimulus dollars instead, it could free money for additional capital projects, once all the other projects that are included in those tax packages are completed.

"We're telling everyone to take a collective breath due to revenue shortfalls," Zachary said. "We may have money left over down the road or this may simply help us fill a funding gap."

Nationwide, the stimulus effort so far has funded 10,041 transportation projects, including Tulsa's, totaling $30.6 billion.

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