Everyone who gets behind the wheel often has plenty to say about the vehicle ahead of them, traffic signals or the condition of the roads, but many times we complain to the wrong people.
Those who live in a Sarpy County apartment complex say they have a tough time getting out into traffic because the road is too narrow and too busy. Giles Road running to 144th Street can get pretty busy and road officials have heard complaints about this road and about 144th Street or State Highway 50 where traffic would back up, so state officials added an extended turn lane.
“A couple of years ago we lengthened that left turn lane, the northbound left-turn lane, to allow for more capacity to clear that traffic out of that thru-lane, that inside thru-lane,” said Tim Weander with the Nebraska Department of Roads. “As far as I know it’s working.”
The state is responsible for highways and interstates, but Giles Road is where Wendy Ellsworth is having problems. She lives in Rock Creek Apartments. “Last night it took me about 20 minutes to get out of my apartment complex because of the traffic buildup and that was around 5:30.”
Wendy’s problem is with Sarpy County since Giles Road is not part of the highway or interstate system. “The situation, the east-west roadway, which is Giles Road, is the county’s jurisdictional responsibility,” said Weander.
“We have talked to them and we’ve talked back and forth about what can be done out at that intersection and basically it’s a funding issue where if additional lanes are needed on Giles that would be the county’s responsibility to improve those lanes or add additional lanes on Giles Road itself.”
Sarpy County officials say they are aware of the problem and if the finances are there, construction should start to widen Giles Road in 2016.
Officials say many times concerned motorists call and complain to the wrong entity. State highways and interstates are covered by the state, depending on location other roads are streets covered by the county or city. State road officials can often tell you where to go to complain by calling 402-595-2534.