Plans underway for long-awaited bypass for Blair’s Main Street
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Plans are being finalized for the Blair bypass. It comes about a year after a young boy died while crossing the busy road.
It’ll take 800,000 yards of dirt to be moved and likely an entire season before this project is underway. But residents say that’s a drop in the bucket for a safety measure 20 years in the making.
In a small-town full of massive trucks, Main Street Blair feels more like a highway, creating huge safety hazards for Blair residents.
“We’re always having to watch our backs and make sure that our doors aren’t getting ripped off and we’re not gonna get pinned against our cars,” said Ashley Matzen, a Blair resident.
18-wheelers rolling through in every direction. Many remember last year when a semi struck and killed an 11-year-old boy on a bike at the intersection.
“I saw the first responders there. I was just stunned,” said Matzen.
The city is inching closer to a solution though. Plans to reduce intense truck traffic squeezing through the area are being finalized right now.
“Over the road trucks, all the local trucks, all the farm trucks, basically have to go through that one mile stretch through the downtown area,” said Al Shoemaker, Director of Public Works in Blair.
The Blair’s Public Works Director says a 7.5-million-dollar federal grant will kick start the bypass plans by October of next year. Taxpayers will also shoulder a portion of the 14 million dollars stretch.
“It doesn’t bother me. The taxpayers will be paying for it, but we’ll also be reaping the benefits.”
The Blair Bypass, on the south part of town, stretching a mile from Highway 30 To Highway 75 will give heavy traffic an alternative, safe route.
“You talk to a lot of businesses when trucks go by their windows shake, their doors shake,” said Matzen. Blair City Officials expect the project to be started by the spring of 2022.
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