Project 180 no longer following original schedule

City encounters challenges as it tries to complete the Project 180 makeover of downtown streets, sidewalks and parks.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: January 22, 2012

City officials blamed an unexpected $10 million shortfall in sales taxes being collected as part of the tax increment financing district, as well as cost increases on street and sidewalk reconstruction after unexpected complications, including old building basements that extend under public easements.

Those surprises also are blamed for streets being torn up and unfinished beyond original schedules.

Businesses along Main Street, including Coney Island Hot Dogs, 428 W Main, have seen deadlines for street construction go from November to December to January and beyond.

Film Row along the 700 block of W Sheridan Avenue was substantially completed months ago, but the sidewalks remain dark at night as streetlights, promised to be installed in September, have yet to materialize.

Public Works director Eric Wenger reported recently that an end is in sight with both projects, and that he is hopeful that other key closed streets, most notably Robinson Avenue between Main Street and Park Avenue, will be reopened as early as next month.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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