Major Work On Major Highway Means Major Delays

Busy highway will be imoproved but watch out for traffic delays.

Nebraska Department of Roads representatives sat down with Cass County officials earlier this month to talk about the road upgrade planning for Highway 75 from Sarpy County to Avenue B/Oak Hill Road.

In mid-August, NDOR made the surprise announcement that the four lane expansion and Bay Road intersection work in Cass County was going to happen.

The Cassgram reports the bullet points of this month’s briefing provided by NDOR District 2 Engineer Tim Weander and Rick Fisher, the project manager:

Engineers will continue to work on the plans until November so there are no set timeframes yet for the four phases of the project.

Bid letting will occur this December. The construction is expected to take four years but the contractor will have some flexibility to change the construction planning if better alternatives are agreed upon.

Plans stay as they have been with the new Bay Road interchange the last one south on the Kennedy ‘Freeway’ extension; the other interchanges will be at Platteview and Fairview roads when the freeway extension occurs in Sarpy County.

South of the Bay Road interchange Highway 75 will be considered an ‘expressway’ with on/off points allowed closer than a mile apart (at Club View Drive, Fulton Avenue and Avenue B).

On the freeway portion of Highway 75, the minimum speed will be 45 mph which means that farm implements not capable of traveling at that speed will not be allowed on the road. However, that probably will not be enforced until the Sarpy County portion of the freeway is completed or nearing completion.

The northbound Platte River Bridge will be reconstructed and widened which will also allow for a potential bike trail. Any final decision on a bike trail would need the involvement and approval of the City of Plattsmouth, Cass County, Sarpy County and the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District.

The southbound Platte River Bridge gets a deck repair and overlay.

Temporary traffic signals will stop Highway 75 traffic at Bay Road during the first three phases of the project.

Weander said the reason traffic lights are not in place now is due to two reasons: 1. accident numbers are low because of the apparent caution drivers use at the intersection; 2. Stopping distances with the regular speed limit actually present more of a safety hazard, especially in the southbound lanes on the Oreapolis overpass.

However, the slowed traffic speed through a construction zone will allow for safer stopping distances at the temporary traffic lights.

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