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Transportation plan: Roads in Western Sarpy County could see major improvements in the coming years

Posted at 10:02 PM, Dec 20, 2023

SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — Like many drivers, Gretna resident Erick Strickland gets frustrated while sitting in traffic.

"You can definitely tell the build-ups, even when they're trying to do little things on the road," Strickland said. "It really stacks the road up and backs it up really bad where you could be sitting there for a good 20 minutes or more."

Strickland uses I-80 to commute back and forth. To create less of a hassle for drivers like Strickland, MAPA -- The Metropolitan Planning Agency started a study a few years ago that would add an interchange to I-80, either at 192nd and Capehart or 168th and Schram.

That interchange could impact traffic flow throughout the county, bringing more cars to roads that just might not be ready for them quite yet.

So, cities like Gretna, Springfield and Papillion are looking at improvements not only for drivers, but bicyclists and pedestrians, too.

"What the study is going to do is not only evaluate what enhancements need to be made to have better flow of traffic across western Sarpy," Paula Dennison, Gretna city administrator said. "But also how can those standards be similar, so that you're not going from and I use this example a lot, going from a four-lane urban down to a two-road gravel."

Much of the focus is on areas west of 60th St. and south of Schram Rd. It extends all the way to the Sarpy County line.

"... New growth is happening, throughout the region particularly in this area of Sarpy County," Mike Helgerson, executive director of MAPA said. "Infrastructure investments are really one of things that comes along with that growth."

Whether it's on major roads in west Sarpy or the interstate, Strickland is glad leaders are looking ahead so one day his drive can be easier.

"It's getting ahead of the curve. It's getting ahead of the growth," Strickland said.

A final plan is estimated to be completed by May.

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