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I-80 construction is already causing headaches for 84th Street business owners

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 7:06 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Construction on I-80 near the 84th street exit is already causing headaches for some business owners.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation is making some huge changes to several bridges along I-80. The largest one is the bridge on 84th Street.

The only ramp at that exit that will stay open is the westbound off-ramp. The rest will be closed until November.

And some say it will be bad for business.

“I feel that it’s going to impact a lot of business. I feel it’s going to impact me just getting to work or just getting to 84th street,” said Jennifer Miller.

Jennifer Miller works at Selectel Wireless near 84th and F streets. She says the construction could be enough to draw people away from businesses in the area.

“Just people trying to get here is going to be tougher for them because we have people that come from all the way in North Omaha and so it’s going to be tougher for them to get here. It’s just a headache.”

Just up the road is Taylor’s Flower Shop. Employees here say the biggest issue they expect is for their delivery drivers.

“Thankfully our delivery drivers know Omaha like the back of their hand so hopefully it doesn’t go crazy but it will definitely impact it and it will a slight challenge to change up our route,” said Linden Sitzmann, who works at Taylor’s Flower Shop.

Other business owners say people will find a way to get to the numerous mom-and-pop shops along 84th Street.

“Maybe one or two weeks after that it will be ok,” said Basim Alebadi, Greenland Grocery Store owner.

Traffic will be head-to-head with three lanes in both directions from 78th to 87th streets along I-80 for 50 days. There is no official detour but businesses on 84th say the 72nd street exit will probably be your best bet.

NDOT says they will be reducing the speed limit in this construction zone, and said drivers should expect delays. They encourage as many drivers as possible to consider an alternate east and west route, and advise any through-traffic to use Interstate 680 to go around Omaha instead.

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