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Frequently Asked Questions

Who will make sure the projects we voted for will be completed as promised?
The Sales Tax Overview Committee is comprised of 21 citizens who are tasked with keeping the City of Tulsa in line on projects approved by the citizens of Tulsa. This committee meets monthly at City Hall and publishes a report that is included annually in City utility statements.


What are capital improvement projects?
Capital is most often public infrastructure, including streets, parks, stormwater facilities, buildings and City properties. Also included are public safety vehicles, technology needed to provide City services, and funds for planning activities such as redevelopment.


How does Improve Our Tulsa benefit our city?
Improve Our Tulsa provides $918.7 million for street and transportation projects and capital improvements for many areas of city services.


What are the funding sources for Improve Our Tulsa projects?
Funding for Improve Our Tulsa projects comes from both sales tax and property tax-financed General Obligation Bonds issued by the City of Tulsa.

The sales tax consists of an extension of the Third Penny Sales Tax (1.1 percent) for $563.7 million or seven years, whichever comes first. Improve Our Tulsa also includes issuance of $355 million in General Obligation Bonds over five years.


Are all areas of the city included in this program?
Project funding is distributed among the nine City Council districts according to need. For streets, the City of Tulsa has used the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers based Pavement Management System and Pavement Condition Index since the 1990s.


When the Improve Our Tulsa program was developed, were issues like inflation and the rising cost of materials taken into account?
Developers of the Improve Our Tulsa program built in allowances for increases in construction costs with an additional contingency included as well.


What is the "Pavement Condition Index" that is used to rate our streets?
Nationally, cities use a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) to rate streets on a 100-point scale, with failed streets rated at 0 and excellent streets at 100. Tulsa uses this standard rating to help determine what type of work is needed for each street, as well as to help prioritize the order in which streets are repaired.


Does this program address repairs to neighborhood streets?
Improve Our Tulsa includes extensive repair work to neighborhood streets as well as arterial streets.


Will street repairs consist of just filling potholes, or does it mean repaving streets?
Street repairs included in Improve Our Tulsa include repaving, rehabilitation and similar solutions. City street maintenance crews fill potholes year-round, using funds from the general operating fund. The patches are a temporary fix until a larger patch can be made by cutting out a square section of pavement surrounding the pothole and filling it with asphalt or concrete.


How long will it take to fix the streets?
Generally, the City of Tulsa follows certain schedules regarding funding, design, and construction of street projects:

Funding for street projects usually is included as part of a sales tax extension or general obligation bond issue. Improve Our Tulsa includes a seven-year sales tax extension and bonds issued over a five-year period.

Design of a street project follows a nine- to 12-month process, depending on the size and complexity of the project design. The process begins with collection of information from sources including public meetings, field investigations and records of past issues. Once initial information is collected, the design engineer determines the best way to address the needs using available funding. Street project design plans may include replacement of substandard water and sanitary sewer lines in proximity of the street and correction of drainage issues.

Most street projects require additional right-of-way and utility relocation. Right-of-way acquisition can take up to 12 months depending on the number of parcels. Utility relocation may take a few weeks or up to 18 months depending on the relocations or replacements required and the workload of the utility companies.

When the design of a street project is complete and approved, the project is publicly advertised for construction bids usually for around 28 days, or no less than 20 days per state law. During this time, the plans are available for review by all contractors on the City’s prequalification list. At the end of the 28 days, the bids are opened publicly by the City.

The bid is reviewed and approved through a two-step process. The first step is to award the project to the lowest, responsible bidder, usually within 14 to 21 days after the bids are opened. The second step is execution of the construction contracts, usually 14 to 21 days after the award is approved.

Once the contracts are executed, the City notifies the contractor and a start date for construction is determined. Construction time depends on the size of the project area and amount of work to be performed.


How do the City of Tulsa and Oklahoma Department of Transportation coordinate their projects to allow the best possible traffic flow?
The City of Tulsa and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation coordinate all work where overlaps between city streets and highways exist. Both entities try to minimize disruption to users. The projects are reviewed to determine whether adjustments in implementation are needed. City of Tulsa and ODOT Division 8 representatives are working to reduce the disruption of moving people, goods, and services in the vicinity of our highway segments.


I see money in the package for rebuilding streets, as we’ve been doing. But where is the money for paving, crack sealing, milling and overlay? Is there adequate money in this package for preventive maintenance?
There is $72.5 million budgeted for arterial and non-arterial routine and preventive maintenance. Arterial streets received $19.5 million and the non-arterial streets received $53 million. These funds are being used for crack sealing, microsurfacing and overlays with some milling or leveling courses.

Street work funding needs could be added to the proverbial list of items never satisfied. Some would like the streets "fixed" overnight. There is not enough funding to do so. This funding level is adequate for us to build on progress achieved with Fix Our Streets projects and continue to see impacts on our street network. Our Pavement Condition Index goals for the end of the Improve Our Tulsa program are 64 for arterial streets and 64 for non-arterial streets.

Regardless of funding levels, our goal is to optimize the pavement condition of our street network and improve as much road area as possible.

Street Projects Under Construction

Why is the lane/street closed when no one is working?
This situation may have several causes, one of which may be that a new waterline is being tested. The time between a request for a test and the actual test may be seven to 10 working days. Waterline testing takes up to two days – two samples are taken approximately 24 hours apart to ensure that the water is safe to drink.

Also, some lane- or street closures may be needed for normalization of traffic. Unpredictable openings and re-closings of streets may confuse motorists and could contribute to accidents.

Other reasons may be that the workers are off site to replenish supplies or equipment or that concrete pavement is curing and needs time without vehicles disturbing the process. A contractor’s crews may not be on a site every day. The City allows contractors to set their own work schedules as long as they meet deadlines for project milestones and completion.

If you have a question about a street project site where you do not see anyone working, you may call the Customer Care Center at 311 or (918) 596-7777.


The contractor is blocking the driveway to my home or business. How do I report this problem?
Contractors are required to maintain access to a business by at least one entry, which also can serve as an exit. If you notice obstructed access to a business, you may either report it through Tulsa 311 or call the Customer Care Center at 311 or (918) 596-7777.

If your home or business is in the project area and you received a notice from the City of Tulsa that provides the name and phone number of the construction inspector and contractor superintendent, you may contact one of those individuals regarding access to your property.


How do I report construction signs that impede visibility at an intersection?
You may report this through the Tulsa 311 or call the Customer Care Center at 311 or (918) 596-7777.

If your home or business is in the project area and you received a notice from the City of Tulsa that provides the name and phone number of the construction inspector and contractor superintendent, you may contact one of those individuals.


The project looks completed. Why did the contractor leave the signs and barricades up?
The project looks completed. Why did the contractor leave the signs and barricades up?

The contractor could be waiting for delivery of equipment or a shipment of materials. Or the contractor may have to wait for proper weather for asphalt or concrete construction.

To report a sign that has been left up after a project looks completed, call the Customer Care Center at 311 or (918) 596-7777.


Why do you start putting barrels in the street so far ahead of the construction area?
Construction zones require gradual narrowing for a lane closure. This promotes safety for motorists, who need time to merge into the proper lanes, and for workers in the construction area, who depend on motorists being aware of their presence so close to moving traffic.


How about doing work 24 hours a day so projects get done faster?
The City of Tulsa evaluates the feasibility of projects for potential 24-hour construction. Considerations include proximity to residential areas and whether the extra costs would provide enough benefits.

Optional 24-hour construction has both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages include reducing project completion times by 25-30 percent, mitigating adverse impacts on adjacent businesses, shortening the overall timeframe for work-zone traffic congestion, and allowing work to occur in larger areas.

Disadvantages include safety issues for working at night, nighttime work lighting and construction noise disturbing residents either near the site or along the routes to and from the site; higher cost for night-shift workers; higher cost for more city inspectors; lack of access to daytime city workers and businesses such as engineering firms, material suppliers, and public utilities; and restrictions on use of paving materials in colder, nighttime temperatures.


My vehicle was damaged when I drove through a construction zone. How do I report this problem?
To report damage to your personal property or vehicle, please contact the Customer Care Center at 311 or (918) 596-7777. The City will assist you in working with the contractor and its insurance company. Also, please report any hazard that may cause damage.


I see standing water in the construction area and am concerned about mosquitoes. How do I report this problem?
If you received a notice from the City of Tulsa that provides the name and phone number of the construction inspector and contractor superintendent, you may contact one of those individuals. If you do not have a notice about the project, you may make a report through Tulsa 311 or call the Customer Care Center at 311 or (918) 596-7777.


I received a notice that the street project to start in my neighborhood includes waterline replacement. Will this affect my water service?
A waterline replacement involves placing a new waterline next to the old waterline, testing the new line to make sure it is safe for drinking water, transferring service from the old waterline to the new one, and then replacing sod that was removed during construction (if necessary).

During transfer of water service, customers will be without water on two occasions: for tie-in of the new water main line, and for tie-in of their individual service lines to the main line. These operations take a few hours and are scheduled at times to minimize inconvenience to residents. The contractor will place notices on customers’ front doors at least 24 hours in advance of a water shutoff.

After replacement of a waterline, customers should run their outside faucet to flush out pipes before using indoor water fixtures.


Taxpayer Impact

How does the city sell bonds and get the money, and what assets does it leverage?
The City of Tulsa takes competitive bids from underwriters and selects the one offering the lowest interest cost. No leverage is used. The bonds are secured by a full faith and credit pledge of the City of Tulsa and a pledge of property tax revenue.


How is the city currently using Tulsa homeowners’ property taxes?
The property tax received by the City is used for payment of General Obligation Bond principal and interest and for judgments issued by a court against the City.

Live Project Map

Improve Our Tulsa map graphic

See the 2014 Improve Our Tulsa projects and remaining projects from the 2008 Fix Our Streets program.
View The Project Map