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Construction area near blind curve on 60th Street causes concern; city says it's typical work zone set up

Friday and Monday 3 News Now witness unsafe driving situations
Posted at 7:32 PM, Nov 14, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — 3 News Now first showed you the dangerous stretch of 60th Street on Friday. Because of the Veteran's Day holiday we couldn't get a response from the city. On Monday, officials looked at the video we shot, which shows several near-miss accidents.

Day after day, cars are seen lining up and alternating with on-coming traffic — in both directions — on their own.

"Cars are backed up left and right here because it's the only thorough way to get through. With Q Street being closed now for the area, they are doing the street in front of Horseman's Park," said Jim Sargent, owner and operator of Ace Mufflers.

Sargent said city workers were on site on Monday working on the road.

The construction is blocking a portion of the southbound lane, forcing cars to use the northbound lane to go around the cones.

When the crew is there, there is someone directing the traffic. But Sargent told 3 News Now on Friday, any other time, there is no one.

"Nobody is there to take care of or move traffic around so people are just shooting the corner trying to jump each another and eventually I could see a head-on collision, one of these hours," Sargent said.

Monday it appeared the cones were moved, which shortens the amount of time southbound drivers are in the northbound lane by a little bit. But 3 News Now reporter Molly Hudson still saw several cars flying past the yield signs as others came to a screeching stop.

It's all caused by road repair, the result of an emergency MUD water main break.

"With that situation, most of their work was off on the shoulder. And then when it got into the pavement we had to fix different pavement-area which impacted traffic a little more," said Austin Rowser, Omaha Public Works street maintenance engineer.

Rowser said, over the phone, the blind curve made this situation a little more difficult.

"Kind of an odd and unfortunate situation because it's right there on that curve," Rowser said. "Typically, with a two-lane roadway like that, you know drivers can see around the work zone."

He told 3 News Now that this is the typical work zone set up for a project like this.

The city said the lane is expected to be back open on Tuesday. We reached out to Mayor Stothert's office about this and she said she would need to review the report and video prior to commenting.

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