Gotta give some credit to Andrea French and the folks at the Project 180 office for doing their part communicating the day-to-day changes for downtown commuters as the $141 million makeover continues. This one is going to be a major change – so get ready. It starts Wednesday.
Work will be done in phases to allow access to motorists during construction. Traffic flow will be modified slightly so crews can work on half of a street at a time. The red areas below indicate which sections of the street will be closed during the first phase of construction.
Main from Lee to Hudson reduced to two lanes
W. Main from Lee to Hudson will be reduced to the two south lanes with one lane of travel in each direction while crews work on the two north lanes.
Walker from Reno to Main reduced to two lanes
N. Walker from Reno to W. Main will be reduced to the two west lanes while crews work on the two east lanes.
Sheridan from Dewey to Walker reduced to two lanes
Sheridan from Dewey to N. Walker will be reduced to the two north lanes with one lane of travel in each direction while crews work on the two south lanes.
California from Dewey to Walker reduced to two lanes
California from Dewey to N. Walker will be reduced to the two south lanes with one lane of travel in each direction while crews work on the two north lanes.
We are working closely with businesses, property owners and event coordinators in this area to make sure their concerns and questions are addressed. If you have any questions, please contact Andrea French at 297-2130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s always nice to have context. Bryan Dean is working on a story about the Skydance Bridge and a potential redesign required by cost increases. The story also being covered by the Journal Record. Meanwhile, the folks at OKC Talk and on some of the major blogs are understandably upset and asking how could this happen?
Well, that’s a good question. How is certainly one of the fundamental questions for any news story. And the basic response to the news coming out so far is this question isn’t being answered well enough.
So I made my own call to the design team, talked to architect Hans Butzer. It appears there were some unexpected requirements and changes that came into play during this process:
- The first requirement, the Buy America Act, was in place all along and Butzer acknowledges his team wasn’t aware the act would come into play and how much it would increase costs. They appealed its application, but to no avail.
- Federal loading requirements that existed when the bridge design was selected were doubled afterwards. This too led to serious cost increases.
- The State Historic Preservation Office blocked plans to have the bridge built where Harvey Avenue terminates at Union Station. This led to relocating the bridge eastward, the city having to buy more land, again another cost increase.
What I still don’t understand, and hopefully we’ll find out tomorrow, is how all of this is a surprise this late in the design process. Usually such cost increases emerge early on.
This morning I drove along Automobile Alley and noticed dozens of political signs illegally placed in public flower planters along both sides of Broadway. A reader sent in the following comment:
“I was in Downtown OKC and they had 4 or 5 people sticking signs in EVERYWHERE. I followed them and took pictures of them doing it and asked that they please not put them on city property. Many people have worked hard to clean up our city and the 744 crowd just marches in and decides that they want everyone on the parade route tonight to see their cause.
All of a sudden this guy comes says – “How much are they paying you?” I told him no one is paying me and that I am not on either side. I am just a guy that wants the area to remain looking nice. I pull a sign out and tell him that he is violating the city code that prohibits sign placement on city property. He freaks out and starts videoing me, zooming in on my face and yelling “You are a liar, tell me NOW who you work for and how much they are paying you”. He then pushes me and saying I am a thief and I am stealing his property. I told him that he could pick his sign up at the police station.
Then I I told him lets call the cops and see who is right.
He again demands to know who I am. He yells, “Get out your wallet and show me your ID”. I laugh and told him he is not the boss of me and he can’t make me. I pull out my camera phone and start taking pictures of him. All of a sudden he “Ninja Kicks” my hand and knocks my phone out of my hand. Carrie and the kids are in the car on the street and watched it all. I then take a picture of his car and tag. What is interesting is that both guys were from out of state. One was from Minnesota and the other (Ninja boy) from Tennessee. Hmmmm, so who is getting paid and who is not.
I honestly did not have a dog in the fight. It just pissed me off that they put like 15 signs per block along the parade route. Anyway that is the short version. I know that an organization can’t control every person that works for them but I am NOT IMPRESSED with the Yes for 744 crowd. Take a look today at how many signs are in the medians, really do we need 50 per block.
Actually even one is illegal. I can tell ya how I am voting now.
I thought about filing a complaint with the cops and calling the news but i figure no one cares but my FB friends.”
NOTE: I’m not taking sides on the political message shown on the sign, and it should be noted people running for political offices throughout the spectrum ROUTINELY VIOLATE the law when it comes to these signs.
I’m not suggesting Oklahoma City should emulate everything going on in downtown Tulsa. But they’ve got some good stuff going on.
First item: downtown lofts being set up for teachers. Not saying this is easy without a very wealthy guy helping out. But it’s a cool idea.
Second item: rooftop signs re-introduced in downtown Tulsa’s Brady District. Now this, my friends, is very doable and would be well within the historic fabric of Bricktown.
Third item: railway quiet zone eliminates train whistles through downtown Tulsa. Finally it looks Automobile Alley may gets own shot at developing up against the tracks without train whistles blaring at all times of day. An engineer has been hired to draft up plans – will the city follow through and get it done in a timely manner (and not match the decade it took to convert all downtown streets to two-way traffic).
There are currently two cams aimed at Devon Tower. One, hosted by NewsOK at www.newsok.com/okcskyline, has continuous live video streaming and allows you to watch the construction in progress. The other, at www.okctalk.com, captures minute-by-minute snapshots of the project but has better resolution.
Tonight’s image at OKC Talk is particularly stunning.
New sign along Western Avenue. I think it pretty much captured everybody’s attention as they drove by.
Just a year ago the Santa Fe Parking Garage was overflowing with cars. One has to give Devon Energy credit for making the restructuring of downtown parking as painless as possible. Sure, more pain is ahead as streets are torn up as part of the ongoing Project 180. But at least things are moving along at a relatively fast clip.
Thanks to Casey Cornett for bringing this to our attention
REGULAR MEETING OF
OKLAHOMA CITY URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY
204 N. Robinson, Suite 2400
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
1. Call to Order
2. Statement of Compliance With the Oklahoma Open Meeting Law
3. Roll Call
4. Reading and Approval of Minutes of a Regular Meeting Held on Wednesday, September 15, 2010
5. Resolution No. ____________________ Approving Corrective Special Warranty Deed, Amendment of the Purchase Price, and Amended Redevelopment Agreement Regarding A Proposed Redevelopment By Central Urban Development, Inc., For Approximately Thirty-Two Homes In A Portion of John F. Kennedy Addition In the John F. Kennedy Urban Renewal Project Area
6. Resolution No. ____________________ Approving Construction Plans Submitted By Central Urban Development, Inc., For A Residential Project Consisting of Approximately Thirty-Two Homes In The John F. Kennedy Urban Renewal Project Area
7. Resolution No. ___________________ Authorizing and Directing the Preparation of an Amended and Restated Redevelopment Agreement With New Century Investments VII, L.L.C., For Development of the Aloft Hotel and Supporting Facilities, Harrison-Walnut Urban Renewal Plan
8. Resolution No. ___________________ Authorizing the Authority to Exercise the Option for Routine Common Area Maintenance of the Bass Pro Building Common Area to be Performed By the Bricktown Entertainment Center Owners’ Association, Inc.
9. Resolution No.___________________ Approving an Amendment Consolidating Phase 2 and Phase 3 Performance Times Under the Redevelopment Agreement With the Hill at Bricktown, L.L.C., Harrison-Walnut Urban Renewal Plan
10. Discussion, Consideration and Possible Action Regarding the Establishment of Phasing and Performance Times Pursuant to the Redevelopment Agreement With the Hill at Bricktown, L.L.C., Harrison-Walnut Urban Renewal Plan
11. Discussion, Consideration, and Possible Action on the Extension, Amendment, or Termination of The Overholser Green Residential Redevelopment Agreement on the Former Mercy Hospital Site
October 20, 2010
12. Resolution No. _____________________ Amending The Bylaws of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority
13. Consideration of Any Old Business, Including Any Tabled or Otherwise Continued Items
14. Staff Reports
15. Citizens to be heard
POSTED at the offices of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority and the City Clerk’s
Office by 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 19, 2010 by Ora Berry, Executive Secretary
Looks like things are cooking up nicely along Broadway. I’ll have a couple of stories this week that will delve into what’s next for the area.