Capital project construction contracts bid from April through mid-October 2020 broke a record for the City of Tulsa: 64 contracts valued at a total of $239.9 million. These contracts were for many kinds of projects – improvements to the water, sewer and stormwater systems, street rehabilitation and widening, maintenance and improvements to parks and other public facilities, and construction of Vision Tulsa economic development projects.
This unprecedented number of contracts bid comes after Tulsa voters in recent years have consistently approved sales taxes and general obligation bonds for programs including Improve Our Tulsa, Vision Tulsa and Improve Our Tulsa 2. Also, enterprise funds from water and sewer revenues have made possible maintenance and improvement projects for these systems.
To facilitate faster right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation before projects go to construction, Mayor G.T. Bynum about a year ago approved additional staff for the Engineering Services Department to achieve these goals. The record number of contracts bid also shows positive economic activity and jobs filled in the Tulsa area. Materials suppliers in the area stand to benefit when the contractors buy materials locally.
“This year we made an extra effort to bid more contracts, to allow more essential workers to be working when COVID-19 hit,” said Paul Zachary, Director of Engineering Services. “From the beginning of the pandemic, construction projects in Oklahoma and Tulsa have been deemed essential, allowing them to move forward while taking the necessary precautions. Construction projects also help suppliers and other supporting businesses.”
For the current fiscal year through the end of June 2021, capital contracts totaling more than $243 million have been planned for advertising and bidding. For the July – September quarter, 19 contracts were advertised and bid, with a total value of $80,504,000.