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Councilors Looking for Ways to Cut Down on Complaints of Construction Blocking Tulsa Sidewalks

File photo

Between road projects and new construction, there’s a lot of work going on in Tulsa, and city officials are getting more complaints about those projects blocking sidewalks.

Contractors must have approval before closing a sidewalk, and when they do, there are federal guidelines they must follow for warning sign placement and temporary walkways if those are needed.

"There is a penalty. This is punishable by a fine of not more than $100 excluding costs, fees and assessments, but that is for each day," said Engineering Services Director Paul Zachary.

Fines are uncommon, however, because Tulsa police must issue the citations.

"Is this something that our parking guys can start looking at? You know, what are our options in there? Because we can’t be at all places all the time," Zachary said.

An education campaign may also be in order. The city meets with contractors multiple times before they can begin work, and each meeting is an opportunity to remind them about ordinances.

"I think if we get out there and blitz these folks and we start talking about it and kind of create a culture that just as your signs and stuff are starting to show up, we ought to be able to take care of it," Zachary said.

Tulsans can call 311 to report work zones blocking sidewalks or causing other problems, like placing warning signs after the last intersection before a closed sidewalk.