A major road closures at 108th Street between Blondo and Dodge may change some commutes for Omaha residents. This is no small closure. The project will continue through the fall of 2023. The reasons for this closure are to improve road safety and to take preventative measures to offset major erosion from the Oakbrook Channel. When the project concludes, residents should have smoother traffic and additional options for pedestrians and hikers.
The project plan was originally set between Burt Street and Decatur Street. However, new plans were decided to extend the project south to Mill Valley Road. The extension is the primary reason for the additional time that the project will take to complete.
What Are the Benefits of the Road Closures?
The final project will reward drivers with a wider, three-lane road. There will still be a single lane in either direction, with an additional turning lane in the center. Many drivers have experienced the agony of unnecessary traffic caused by rogue left-turn drivers. This plan hopes to remedy that. But motorists aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this project.
Curb ramps that meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Standards are to be installed. Improvements to the sidewalks and trails will also be a welcome addition. Soon, hikers and joggers will have a beautiful route to the Oakbrook Channel through Oakbrook Park. All of this should improve the quality of life for Omaha residents, and some say it can’t get here soon enough.
Even though the trails are a welcome addition, the city agrees that this project is long overdue. This is because major erosion issues need to be addressed. Degradation of the Oakbrook channel is a paramount concern for city officials. The erosion compromised many sanitary sewer lines and power transmission line poles. If this project had waited any longer, there may have been catastrophic damage with backed up sewage and interruptions to the power grid. The city can work on the public sewer lines, but there are many private sewer lines that are also a problem. The city plans to work with landowners who occupy these sewer lines to address these problems.
By the fall of next year, Omaha will have smoother traffic and additional trails and pathways for its residents to enjoy. In the meantime, it may be best to avoid 108th Street. Highway 680 will remain open, and motorists can take the highway route until the more scenic drive opens.