OMAHA, Neb. — A $21 million dollar expansion project on 120th Street between Stonegate Dr. and Fort St. can't come soon enough for some local residents complaining of congestion and unsafe driving conditions.
At Tranquility Sports Complex right off of 120th, it looks as though there may be an infinite amount of soccer fields. The large-scale sports complex can get busy when games and tournaments roll around. The complex has only two entries and exits off of 120th, creating a lot of traffic.
"There's just too much congestion going on when we try to get out during like state soccer, soccer tournaments," local resident Tricia Thomas said.
Not only does it cause traffic but also some road rage as well.
"And then you get those people that are you know lined up all the way back and you get these people that cut everybody off, a lot of people get a little road rage," local resident Jessica Valedez said.
It's time for an upgrade, and these local residents are going to get one.
"The biggest thing that you'll see is probably improved traffic operations," Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency transportation and data manager Mike Helgerson said.
The expansion project will help aid the city's increasing traffic volume. The two-lane area on 120th from Stonegate Dr. to Fort St. will be reconstructed to four lanes. A new bridge, trail and turning lanes will also be added.
"It's not just a roadway project, it's going to really kind of provide connectivity to a lot of different people," Helgerson said.
Omaha was awarded a $16.9 million dollar federal grant to cover 80% of the costs for the project. Now it's just a matter of getting the bid.
"With the project receiving this great grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, we're just making sure all our documents are consistent with the plans that are moving forward," Helgerson said.
Even with some increased costs.
"So the cost is increasing just basically from what was in our plans. So we'd always kind of planned on updating this when the project is ready to go kind of when we knew what the final project was going to be," Helgerson said.
But for local residents, it will be well worth it.
"It will be a mess for a while I'm sure but it will really be good when it's done," Thomas said.
MAPA is holding an open house at their offices to answer public questions about the project on January 7, 2020 from 4pm-5pm. They will discuss an amendment to their 2040 long-range-transportation plan in regards to cost estimates and funding sources for the project.
Metropolitan Area Planning Agency
2222 Cuming Street
Omaha, NE 68102
The construction for the project is expected to begin in 2020 and be completed by 2021.
Questions about this City of Omaha project regarding the start date and closures will need to be directed to the city. You can check on this project and others at keepomahamoving.com [keepomahamoving.com]