Greater Tulsa Reporter
PLAZA IMPROVEMENTS: Pictured is a rendering of the soon-to-be extended 5th Street, which will run through the plaza from Denver Ave. to Frisco Ave.
As the transformation of old City Hall into an Aloft hotel nears completion, two new construction projects in Tulsa’s historic downtown plaza are preparing to begin.
Construction is expected to start in September to extend 5th Street from Denver Avenue, its current cut-off point, to Frisco Avenue, which runs, north and south, in front of the convention center.
“We have always wanted to recreate circulation between Frisco and Denver,” says Director of Engineering Services Paul Zachary. “We talked about it years ago during discussions of the renovations of the convention center and construction of the BOK Center.”
While those talks did not bring the street to fruition, the sale of City Hall and the construction of the Aloft Hotel did.
The hotel is set for completion in mid-May and features 190 rooms and, to the north, expansive views of the BOK Center.
The extended 5th street will cut through the middle of the plaza, with drop-off areas for the library and Tulsa County building and an access area to the hotel, before intersecting with Frisco.
From start to finish, the street project will take about one year, ending in September of next year. The project’s current start date is three months later than originally planned due to the complexity of the proposed street, says Zachary.
“The proposed street’s double-decker quality and the fact that much of the underground parking will still have to be utilized during construction makes this a challenging assignment,” he says.
Once 5th Street is completed, Tulsans will have to wait one more year before seeing the plaza come completely back to life, when the renovated Central Library reopens.
In the fall of 2011, Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MS&R) was hired to lead the project with local company Crafton Tull aiding in design work and structural consulting services.
Construction will begin in September once the library moves to its temporary location at 11th and Denver.