South 72nd St. Traffic Slowed By Construction

Drivers may have been a little surprised at how long it took them to navigate a stretch of South 72nd St.

A major construction project is underway on 72nd street from the 'L' Street interchange south to Main Street in Ralston.

And there is already a little waiting time.

More stop than go for drivers taking southbound 72nd street.

A panel replacement project is in full swing.

Damaged panels are being replaced one by one.

Fresh concrete is already being poured.

But there ***are*** delays.

Ralph Howard made it his destination just in time.

“I did just as the concrete truck backed in,” he said. “So it wasn't any big deal, I was in line about two minutes. They don't hold you up very much.”

He said the traffic wait looks worse than it actually is.

“They've got it backed up pretty good but you know that's progress that's the way it goes and it will be better once they're done,” he said.

Tom Negley owns the TCBY on south 72nd Street.

“I think that we're going to see a lot of delays people sitting there, frustrated looking at the traffic light saying how long is this going to take?” he said.

Negley says it's too early tell if the project has hurt business, but...

“It could be significant if drivers are diverted to 84th st or 96th st or something and we don;t see the cars come by, its going to affect the business,” he said.

Negley believes slowed traffic flows can actually help.

“The good thing is they may look over and say, oh, there's a new TCBY, I'm going to have to stop in there,” he said.

The plan calls for completion of one lane at a time before moving to another.

All four lanes will see some work, but only one of the four lanes will be closed at a time.

Public Works said the completion time frame is week to week, putting waiting and a lot of patience in demand.

“Someone was really kind and let me in and I let somebody in at the corner,” Ralph Howard said. “It's just the way it is, that's the way Omaha people are.”

This is the first of a $1.2M, five phase roads project.

Eighty percent of that is paid through federal funds, the city of Omaha picks up the rest.

One of the other four remaining road projects will extend on Pacific Street from 105th west to 132nd.

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