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Rardy

Omaha Roads

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Omaha metro is looking at expanding freeway routes within the city.

It has been envisioned as a beltway that would encircle the Omaha metro area.

But the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency proposal for a new highway system might also take the form of linear highways radiating out from the city center.

Engineers hired to examine the metro area's future highway needs are not assuming that a beltway is the right configuration, said Matthew Tondl, senior vice president with HDR Engineering of Omaha.

Other cities have custom-designed their traffic systems in a variety of ways, Tondl said. "If you get an atlas out and start looking at major cities in the United States, you're going to see varying forms of Interstate or freeway-type facilities."

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According to this map from the Omaha-Council Bluffs MAPA, Omahans can expect a good bit of road construction over the next several years.

The West Dodge Expwy was finished 5 months early, but I-80 west between Industrial and 370 will be widened to 8 lanes (4 each direction) and the remainder of the interstate to Lincoln will be widened to 6 lanes. That 8-lane portion handles over 76,000 vpd; the 6-lane as much as 56,000 vpd, per this map.

In other plans, 680 south of Military will be widened to as much as 8 lanes. Also, new interchanges will be built at 72nd and L, and at Bennington and McKinley in NW Omaha.

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The Pflug interchange being upgraded to all freeway has stirred up conspiracy theories because "an Omaha-based real estate company owns nearly 1,000 acres in the area and is using its political and business clout to influence policymakers to allocate public funds for the project. The real estate company obviously wants to develop the property, which would become significantly more valuable if the interchange were to be built," (according to Jeff Beals over at the CityWeekly).

But as he later points out, that land is ripe for development simply because of its location along the freeway connecting Omaha and Lincoln, directly in the center of over 1.1 million people. It's also some of the only flat land in Omaha MSA - land available for a potential auto plant or distribution centers...

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Here's a map of the proposed routes the outer beltway could take:

beltwayLoop2.gif

I'm not sure about this.. :dontknow: It seems rather like overkill. Just think of the sprawl that will result if this thing gets built...

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The 75/480 interchange in DT Omaha is starting Phase 2 of construction, but won't be completed until 2010. The new construction will eliminate access from 30th St. to 75/480, resurface pavement, and remove 13 bridges and add 7 bridges in the interchange:

090107kcinterstate.jpg

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The I-80 commission is getting underway studying the area between Omaha and Lincoln, from 1 mile south of the interstate to 2 miles north of Hwy. 6 (I think??). Because this is such a hot growth area, they're looking at ways to preserve and sustain growth, as well as environmental concerns, increasing tourism, and economic development. That study corridor is adjacent to 90% of the state's total population.

The results could be stricter building standards and landscaping requirements for all the I-80 interchanges, or it could be that each existing or potential interchange is designated for specific purposes, said planner Doug Bisson of Omaha.

The commission established by the Legislature two years ago to protect and manage growth in the Omaha-Lincoln corridor got down to business Thursday as the members heard from the team of planners they hired to deal with competing visions for the land along I-80.

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The Saddle Creek Road realignment to the west to make way for UNMC expansion seems to be picking up steam with the completion of the new study and thanks to a federal earmark. One route that's being considered is this one:

091207kcsaddlecreekgraphic.jpg

Another one would simply add a median and left turn lanes and new storm water drains at the underpass with Dodge. And new talk of a high-tech office/research park???

UNMC has pushed to beautify and relocate Saddle Creek Road. Its current route hems in westward growth of the campus, say medical center administrators.

UNMC Chancellor Harold Maurer has also sought a more attractive entrance to the expanding campus. An alternative route, depending on its design and features, could allow for a high-tech office or research park on the west side of Saddle Creek Road.

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Interesting street new alignment. Looks chaotic on the north-end; kinda cool.

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The city has plans to add a pedestrian/bike trail along the Old Lincoln Highway's brick portion between W. Dodge and Elkhorn. It will be a safer alternative, since the road has no paved shoulders, and will also be a draw for visitors since the road is very historic and offers great views.

WH article here>>

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Interesting street new alignment. Looks chaotic on the north-end; kinda cool.

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