Construction project in West Omaha expands 180th Street

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 8:49 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A big road construction project aimed at helping north-south traffic flows in West Omaha is underway.

It’s a project that’s long overdue.

“We’ve been working on this project for 20 years, literally,” Dan Kutilek.

Douglas County Engineering Manager Dan Kutilek said Phase one of linking Blondo with West Dodge Road on 180th Street is ahead of schedule.

He calls this a challenging engineering project. It contains constructing two large two lanes bridges spanning the Papio Creek, a Union Pacific Railroad mainline, and the historic Lincoln Highway.

The 180th Street expansion is the latest in a series of north-south routes in the county.

“It’s a very heavily traveled corridor, Kutilek said. We’ve coordinated with the City of Omaha and the improvements of 156th Street that recently just opened between Dodge and Maple. 168th Street the year before and now this 180th Street. All carry tens of thousands of cars and so we had to kind of juggle the balls to make sure that the public gets in some way shape or form north and south in that corridor.”

Kutilek said the project was tied up for years as the county dealt with environmental regulations, permits, and the railroad.

Eighty percent of the project’s $40 million price tag comes from federal funding.

Jack Hoffman lives right by 180th Street.

“The only thing that was bothersome I’d say it was they use the pylons the banging those in that would be noisy in a little bit shaken but it’s part of progress,” he said.

Hoffman planted more than 70 trees as a barrier between the road and his home. He and his neighbors are glad to see the project come to fruition.

“They’re absolutely excited because it is it’s going to be in North and we’re going to like it too. We’ll have Maple access when it’s done so I think it’s good for everybody out here in our area,” he said.

A new bridge on Blondo just east of 180th is also part of the overall project. Kutilek said it should improve travel in this part of the county.

“It’ll be exciting to get it open finally for the public,” he said.

The road should be open by this fall. Phase two from Blondo to West Maple Road is due for completion in the fall of 2022.

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