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108th St. closure causing traffic chaos at 96th St.

Posted at 10:13 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 09:22:22-04

Frustration is growing among drivers in Southwest Omaha who are faced with finding an alternative route at 108th near Q St. 

Road closure signs at 108th and Borman Ave. between Q and Harrison streets are forcing drivers and residents to seek alternate routes during rush hour backups. Residents say much of that traffic has now moved to 96th St. 

Monday was the first day MUD closed 108th for utility work for the next month.

"My biggest problem lately is to remember that 108th is closed because I usually stream out on Madison take a right, and then I'm like, Uh oh...this isn't going to work," said Joe Konopik, who lives near 108th. "I do have exits but everything is a bit longer than it used to be. So it's an inconvenience."

Thresa Smith works along 96th St. She says she's seen an increase in traffic.

"I have noticed a lot of backup. I work right off of 96th and L St. and the traffic is always backed up, and I come this way to go to Hyvee to go shopping and it takes forever to go through the lights -  there's so much traffic because of the construction," said Smith. 

On Wednesday, Omaha Police tweeted, "It's not okay to drive into the oncoming lanes to avoid the barricades to find a shortcut.

"It's going to get worse because we're going to have snow coming, and it's just going to be a mess. Everybody's going to be in a rush. Traffic's going to be backed up. It's going to cause a lot of headaches," added Smith.

Omaha Public Works will hold a pre-construction public meeting on November 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Hitchcock Elementary School to go over plans and alternative routes for nearby homeowners.