By KEVIN CANFIELD
The city of Tulsa next week will begin preparing residents for a major change – the closing of Riverside Drive.
City crews are planning to set up large message boards around town starting Monday to remind motorists of the impending closure.
A two-mile section of the road – from 21st to 41st streets – will be closed from July 13 to the fall of 2017 to reconstruct the road. Local traffic only will be allowed along Riverside Drive from 35th Place to 41st Street. Local traffic only will be allowed along Riverside Drive from 24st Street to just south of the 21st street Bridge.
Access from Riverside Drive to 21st Street will remain open.
In addition, the off ramp of the 23rd Street bridge onto Riverside Drive south will be closed.
The $19 million project includes replacement of Riverside Drive from 24th Street to 33rd Place and the installation of sanitary sewer, storm water and water lines.
Most of the work has been planned for years. City officials chose to do it now to coincide with the construction of A Gathering Place for Tulsa park to ensure there is no reason to go back into the road once it is completed.
For example, A Gathering Place will include two land bridges over Riverside Drive. Rather than overhaul the road and then have to close it to construct the land bridges, city and park officials agreed to work on the projects simultaneously.
The roadwork and related infrastructure projects, as well as the park, are scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017.
Here is a summary of the road closures and construction projects:
— Riverside Drive will be closed from July 13 to late 2017
— Local traffic only will be allowed along Riverside Drive from 35th Place to 41st Street.
— Local traffic only will be allowed along Riverside Drive from 24st Street to just south of the 21st street Bridge.
— Access from Riverside Drive to 21st Street will remain open.
— Ramp off of 23rd Street bridge onto Riverside Drive south will be closed
RIVERSIDE DRIVE REPLACEMENT
The $19 million project is part of the city’s Improve Our Tulsa capital improvements package.
It will include the replacement of Riverside Drive from 24th Street to 33rd Place. The roadway will remain four lanes, with inside lanes measuring 11 feet wide and outside lanes measuring 12 feet wide. A median ranging in width from 4 feet to 21 feet will stretch from just north of A Gathering Place for Tulsa park south to 33rd Place.
A sidewalk will be built on the east side of Riverside Drive from 21st to 27th streets. The sidewalks will be 6 feet wide with a 7-foot-wide tree lawn between the curb of the road and the start of the sidewalk.
The sidewalk and the properties to the east, excluding A Gathering Place, will be separated by a 2.5-foot-high brick wall topped with a wrought-iron fence.
REPLACE CROW CREEK BRIDGE
The existing bridge at approximately 3200 S. Riverside Drive will be replaced with a new one that will be elevated about 8 feet. The bridge is being raised to allow for construction of pedestrian trails below it.
INSTALL STORM WATER DRAINS
Work on this project has begun. The drains will run from the neighborhood directly east of A Gathering Place, under the park, and into the Arkansas River.
One of the reasons Riverside Drive must be closed is to allow the drains to be installed under the road and into the Arkansas River.
INSTALL SANITARY SEWER LINE
A 54-inch line will be installed on the west side of Riverside Drive from 33rd Street to 27th Place.
INSTALL WATER LINE
A 12-inch water line will be constructed from 24th to 35th streets on the east side of Riverside Drive and around the perimeter of the park.
The city plans to rehabilitate 31st Street from Riverside Drive to Peoria Avenue while Riverside Drive is closed.
The $1.4 million project is part of the city’s Improve Our Tulsa capital improvements package.
The work will include repaving the road and the possible construction of a sidewalk. A bike lane is also being considered.