37th Street opening celebrated with ribbon ceremony
City officials celebrated the opening of 37th Street (209th E. Ave.) today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The one-mile street connects Omaha (51st) and Albany (61st) Streets, the last major section line road in the City that was not continuous.
This $3.83 million project was funded by the voter-approved 2014 General Obligation Bond and is one of several new road construction projects that the City has planned for the near future, according to City Manager Michael Spurgeon.
He said there is already the potential for residential development in the area and that the City has plans to come back at a later date and install sidewalks alongside this new road to ensure connectivity.
The new Broken Arrow Public Schools STEM Academy will be built near the intersection of 61st Street and County Line Road.
“We’ve already led a contract for a consultant to begin the process of widening that road to be consistent with the improvements that are going to be there for the STEM Academy,” Spurgeon said. “Then, if you keep going in that area, we also have voter approval to do 61st to 71st and 71st to 81st on 209th Street.”
The City is also planning to widen Albany Street from County Line Road to Lynn Lane, and he expects that the project will be out for bid by the end of next year.
A consultant has been awarded the contract to begin the widening project on 51st to 61st on County Line Road, and it is expected to be a 2021 or 2022 project.
“Hopefully later this summer, we will award the contract for the road from 71st to 81st on County Line Road and replace the bridge,” Spurgeon said. “As a fast-growing community, infrastructure is extremely important. The voters of Broken Arrow and current and past councilmembers have made sure that they put those issues before the voters, and they have responded, and this is a perfect example.”
Broken Arrow Chamber President Jennifer Conway said these types of road projects are what is needed for the business community to grow and thrive.
“We’re thankful for this investment, and we’re thankful to the voters that decided to make this investment,” Conway said. “I guarantee the ROI [Return on Investment] will be there.”
Construction on 37th Street had been significantly delayed following a decision by ONG to relocate a gas main outside of the existing easement in the project corridor, which slowed City contractors.
City Councilor Debra Wimpee said people in Ward 1 have been asking for this project to be completed for years. But since the opening of the street last month, she’s hearing from citizens how they love being able to get to the new elementary school, the Creek Turnpike and to the Broken Arrow Walmart rather than go to Catoosa.
“It’s about the ability to connect. It helps raise sales tax revenue and has laid the groundwork for future development and future residents in the area, it’s an all-win for Broken Arrow, another milestone and another promised project completed,” Wimpee said.