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Temporary parking concerns for the Riverfront Revitalization Project

Posted at 7:18 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 20:18:04-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Riverfront Revitalization Project is set to transform the parks of downtown Omaha. Gene Leahy Mall has been under construction for months, but recent road closures have created congestion, traffic and limited parking opportunities in the Old Market area.

Didi Olsen has owned The Nail Shop on 10th and Farnam for ten years. This is the first time she's had to deal with major construction around her building.

"We've seen a higher traffic, especially the front spots, you know? Especially on weekends when there's events going on down here," said Olsen.

She says that with the construction and road closures, parking has become inconvenient for her customers and it's affecting her business.

"I mean, we hear little comments here and there from clients like ‘oh, I had to park way down the street or around the corner’," said Olsen.

Kristyna Engdahl with the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority says she understands that there is temporary disruption, but the project construction is designed in a way where it shouldn't just affect a single area for the entire construction period.

"We are trying to be mindful to reopen in phases as we can. So not only with the parks but also with lane closure and parking stalls. For example, if we're done working in a parking stall area, we're going to reopen that and put it back in circulation so we can hopefully has as little inconvenience as possible,” said Engdahl.

Public parking garages are open to the public but Olsen believes they're underutilized because people assume they’re for businesses or employees only.

"We have a lot of public parking garages that maybe people don't necessarily know about. So maybe better signage? Especially on the congested streets," said Olsen.

For now, Olsen is just looking forward to the finished product.

"You know we're excited for what the future will bring even though it's kind of bad right now," she said.