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Lawsuit over BA roadwork tossed

Lawsuit over BA roadwork tossed

by: TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Friday, March 27, 2009
3/27/2009 4:01:43 AM

A Tulsa resident's effort to stop a major Broken Arrow road construction project has run into a roadblock.

A Tulsa County district judge on Thursday granted the city of Broken Arrow's motion to dismiss a lawsuit by Robert L. Townsend, who sought a permanent injunction against a $2 million project to realign Elm Place (161st East Avenue) between Omaha and Albany streets (51st and 61st streets).

District Judge Jefferson Sellers dismissed the case because its merits did not appear to justify court action; because Townsend, as a Tulsa resident, lacked any standing to bring suit; and on other grounds, officials said.

Townsend, who represented himself, said he will not appeal the ruling.

"This was a biggie for my neighborhood," said Townsend, who lives in the Trinity Creek addition in Tulsa. "But I don't plan to take this any further."

Broken Arrow city officials said they were pleased with the decision and that roadwork should begin in 90 days.

Townsend and other residents near the project area, which abuts the border between Tulsa and Broken Arrow, have protested it every step of the way, including the rezoning of land along the route that cleared it for future commercial projects.

Residents are concerned about the project's impact on their neighborhoods.

Townsend's suit accused the city of failing to use good planning judgment, disregarding the will of opposing residents, and favoring a development group, among other things, court documents show.

City officials say the realignment is overdue and will improve access to the city's north side.

Elm Place now winds to the west through a residential area between Omaha and Albany streets.

The realignment will move it east, creating a wider five-lane route and a new intersection at Omaha.

"Elm Place is one of the city's most-traveled arterials," city spokesman Keith Sterling said.

"The volume of traffic presents a dangerous situation, which the new extension will alleviate."

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