Just in time for winter, various road projects are finishing up around the city. Mayor Jim Suttle spoke Thursday about the state of the city’s roads and what we might expect in the future.
The mayor emphasized that these projects and future ones are meant to save the taxpayers money.
Final touches are being made on widening 144th Street between Dodge and Blondo. “Plan the work, work the plan and today we are looking at the results of all of that hard work,” said Mayor Suttle, who announced the project’s completion. "I want to thank the public for the patience that they have had as we concentrate on making sure that our transportation system is first class in our metropolitan area."
This mile stretch went from two lanes to four at a cost of $3.6 million, 80 percent from federal funds and 20 percent from the city. The mayor says projects like this are meant to get ahead of transportation problems and more like it are on the way.
"The next major project that we've got scheduled is 156th Street, similarly from Dodge up to Maple,” said city engineer Todd Pfitzer.
People are already noticing the improvements. “I actually think that they are well maintained,” said Vanessa Szynskie of Papillion. “I commute all the way from Papillion to downtown every day. If there is an accident, forget it, it is going to be backed up, but otherwise, other than that, I think it is pretty well maintained."
Some still believe more work is needed. "I would say your main roads are fine,” said Molly Reed of Omaha. “I live in a neighborhood out in the Westgate, Westridge area and I would say the side streets are pretty still beaten up and tore up in terms of potholes."
Another future project includes continuing 144th Street's four lanes up towards Eagle Run. The mayor also emphasized that future decisions will made by him and the City Council.
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