Big Changes for Old Intersection

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Big changes are coming to an old Omaha intersection.

The people who live, work and play in the area of 42nd and Q Streets are used to the asymmetric intersection but desperately needed changes and safety concerns will transform the intersection into something most won't recognize.

Most of us are familiar with the 42nd and Q Streets intersection; the long looping turn east in order to continue south on 42nd Street.

There is also a small bridge over the Burlington Northern tracks that is deteriorating.

Todd Pfitzer says, "The bridge is at a critical place where it needs to be replaced."

Todd Pfitzer is the project manager and because the project is federal all aspects from traffic flow to safety to the Americans with Disabilities Act have to be considered.

After coming up with four different plans the intersection expected to be constructed includes a double roundabout.

The new intersection will be just off Kenny Smith's backyard and he likes the proposed roundabout plan.

Kenny Smith says, "People just drive through the intersection and don't watch what they're doing and we get bad wrecks there, like three per year, some a fatal others just real bad. I think the roundabout would be real good there so that people slow down."

That's why the roundabout plan is moving forward. The other proposals favored either 42nd Street or Q Street traffic with a straight shot through the intersection.

Todd Pfitzer says, "Those things lend themselves to higher speeds which lead to more serious accidents, injuries, fatalities, things like that. We don't want to build a project like this and not do the very best we can to address all of the concerns."

The experts say the double roundabout addresses all of the concerns.

The project has not been finalized yet and there could be some minor changes.

As of now it is estimated to cost 6.5 million dollars, Omaha would be responsible for 1.3 million of that total.

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