Tahlequah sees infrastructure and business improvements
TNE Editor
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Tahlequah sees infrastructure and business improvements

Published 4/3/17

Thomas Gardner

TNE Writer

Tahlequah is still a relatively small town, with a population of approximately 16,000 people. Up to this point Tahlequah has shown a slow increase in population over the last decade. That may be about to change, thanks to some new construction projects that are planned around town.

There are several projects currently ongoing within the city limits, most of which relate to infrastructure upgrades and routine maintenance. For example, there are several street projects underway that intend to widen heavily-trafficked roads and add sidewalks to better accommodate the citizens of Tahlequah.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the completion of these street projects, especially on the south end of town,” said Mike Hensley, Tahlequah business owner and resident. “Right now there are not any sidewalks along Muskogee Avenue, and that road can be pretty dangerous for families to walk up and down.”

Hensley said he is glad the city recognized that there needed to be some changes made and now they are following through with them.

The street widening project on Muskogee Avenue is just one of the several street projects that have been discussed recently by members of city council. However, not all projects relate to streets or city infrastructure. There are several new businesses in line to be constructed within the next couple years.

The Cherokee Nation has two major projects coming up, one of which has already begun. They are constructing a brand new state-of-the-art hospital that, according to its blueprint, will be one of the largest in the state. This new hospital will bring hundreds of new, high paying jobs to the Tahlequah area. Construction on the new hospital began in February of this year.

“I can’t wait to see the finished product; the drawings of this hospital are magnificent,” said Sherri Jackson, Hastings Hospital staff member. “The new facilities are going to be out of this world. A lot of us are really excited to get in that new building.”

The Cherokee Nation is also set to start construction on their new Cherokee Springs Plaza this year. The plaza will include a new casino, hotel and convention center. There will also be room for several retail locations to be added, including new restaurants. The plaza is located on the south end of town and should help stimulate growth to that side of town.

“The new casino and hotel is going to be an awesome addition to our town,” said Tristan Mcdowell, Cherokee Nation employee. “Tahlequah has long needed an upgraded facility, and connecting the golf course to the casino is going to help a lot.”


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