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Bellevue looking to overhaul Fort Crook Road

Posted at 10:11 PM, Oct 09, 2019

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — If city officials get what the way want. Fort Crook Road is going to look a whole lot different.

The reason for change? Economic development. The city wants to keep current businesses around, while also bringing in new ones.

"I don't think we'll get there unless that corridor has changed into something more attractive than a hodgepodge of roadways that just doesn't make sense in today's world,” says city administrator, Jim Ristow.

The plan would be to turn the road from six to four lanes, while also pushing the road to the west. That would create space for more development.

Right now, the space around the road doesn't necessarily attract new development, including this drainage ditch on the east side that sits right in front of many businesses. But that would go away if this project gets completed.

"That's where your bike path, your walk path would go for a frontage of a business property too so it would help with that connectivity,” says Ristow.

One business that took a chance on the area three years ago, is Roma.

"They invested in a worn, old, tired corridor, it's standing room only most nights to go there and get in,” says Ristow.

The Italian restaurant has succeeded near the road, where other businesses haven't, owner Albert Gashi wants those vacant buildings filled.

"There are so many old buildings and all that so I wish they could have more businesses and all that,” says Gashi.

And he thinks the project could be a boon for his already busy restaurant.

"Yes it will help a lot, it will help, probably way more,” says Gashi.

Plans were originally made 11 years ago and then abandoned by the city because it couldn't secure the right-of-ways from the state.

"That is really the only thing that's a road block here,” says Ristow.

That's the first step the city must take, if they can do that, city administrator Jim Ristow thinks the rest of the pieces will fall into place.

"Our goal is to get answers within a year so we could start moving on the other part of it,” says Ristow.