Widening Of 144th Street Begins Next Week

Good news in the long term for West Omaha travelers as work begins next week on a widening project at 144th between Dodge and Blondo.

It's only expected to take about six months to complete, but there will be some growing pains.

Mike Tarr was out enjoying the day. He lives near 144th Street just north of Dodge.

He knows what's just around the corner.

“Construction season starts and we'll be right in the heart of it,” he said.

Starting Monday, 144th St. between Dodge and Blondo receives a much needed overhaul.

Lane restriction will keep one lane both north and south open as the road transforms into a four lane road.

“It'll just increase the traffic and traffic going faster I mean it moves fast enough through here right now, but with four lanes its going to be moving even faster,” Tarr said.

“We used to look out there and see one or two cars every hour, some times no cars for hours,” Lou Buda said. “Now we look out there and we'll see 100 cars every ten minutes.”

Buda has lived along 144th St. since the early 70s.

He's seen the city grow and with it, the amount of traffic.

“It's well overdue. they were supposed to have it done over ten years ago, so one thing led to another but they're finally going to get to it,” he said.

“There's a line of cars from about 4:30 until 5:30 maybe a quarter to six and there's just a line of cars non stop waiting for the lights to turn and people to turn off. When they're on their way home from work, you know they want to get home. Its certainly going to improve the attitude of people when they get home.”

Just the growing pains of an expanding city..

“As Omaha moves further west, so do the four lane roads keep moving west,” Mike Tarr said.

The project is expected to be finished by Halloween of this year.

The cost of the project? Just over $3 million.

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