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Tulsa Market District Getting An Overhaul Over The Next 12 Months

A yearlong beautification project on Route 66 at 11th and Lewis should begin this month.

Improvements in what’s been dubbed the Market District were unveiled Wednesday. Plans include new water and sewer lines, traffic lights, traffic calming measures, dozens of trees and benches, and Route 66 signage.

Work will span from 12th to 10th streets on Lewis and from Yorktown to Atlanta on 11th Street. The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, which owns Mother Road Market, is paying for the work up front. The city will pay them back with proceeds from a special taxing district around the area.

LTFF President and CEO Elizabeth Frame Ellison expects the work will have a real impact for a neighborhood where half of residents live below the poverty line.

"Our research leads us to believe that we can improve equitable community outcomes and economic mobility for business owners and residents alike by activating Route 66 as an underutilized asset in Tulsa and creating a model for future inclusive growth along other parts of Route 66," Ellison said.

LTFF launched a business association and consulted neighborhood groups on the project.

"We're really excited to be participating, looking forward to opportunities to really enhance, aesthetically, the lane here along 11th Street and really excited about the opportunity to connect the 11th Street corridor back into the neighborhoods," said Burlinda Radney with Terrace Drive Neighborhood.

Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell was at Mother Road Market for the unveiling of the plans.

"This development right here, I firmly believe in a few years — it already is becoming it — not just the centerpiece for the city, not just the centerpiece for the state when it comes to Route 66, but I truly believe this will be the premiere attraction on Route 66 in the United States of America," Pinnell said.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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