As neighborhoods take the place of open fields in some areas of north Oklahoma City, roads need to be expanded to handle increasing traffic.
And, while better, wider streets are a blessing for motorists, lengthy road-construction projects have been something of a curse to some local businesses.
Such is the case at NW 164 and N Pennsylvania Ave.
Jag Singh, owner of Old Vine Wine & Spirits near that intersection, said his sales for 2013, compared to 2012, were down 50 percent as crews worked month after month to turn two-lane roads into four-lane thoroughfares, and former customers avoided the construction zone.
“I had to let go my full time employee, and I have to work pretty much six days a week, 11 hours a day,” Singh said.
It's a similar story at nearby K&V Nail Spa.
“Yesterday, just one customer, and it's happened a lot,” said nail salon owner Kent Phan. One day last week, the once-busy shop took in only $30.
Sing said that in June 2012, city representatives held a meeting to inform shop owners and neighbors of the construction plans. They were told of a six-month project lasting from July to December of 2012. Depending on weather, business owners were told, the project could overflow into 2013.
Turns out the project didn't get finished until two weeks ago. What went wrong?
Construction crews were slowed greatly by numerous oil and natural gas pipelines, said Debbie Miller, assistant engineer with the city public works department.
Workers would regain momentum only to hit another pipeline. Construction would have to cease until confirmation was obtained on whether the line was active or abandoned. If abandoned, crews could simply cut through it. If it was in use, other, more complicated plans would have to be made.