Farnam Street could become two-way all day by 2023

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:49 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Drive along Farnam Street in the Dundee neighborhood, and you will see sign after sign after sign pleading to “Fix Farnam. Make Farnam two-way, all day, every day.”

For the first time ever, that could actually be a reality.

“It’s no longer a matter of ‘if’ or ‘when’ — but it will happen in 2023,” Omaha Councilman Pete Festersen said.

The city has set aside $2 million to convert the street to a two-way. City leaders say part of the reason the change is happening now is because UNMC and Nebraska Medicine will be spreading out their campus, creating more traffic.

“I got briefed on all the great plans going on down there, with the next project and other things. It’s come up that this is all part of the process of making it safer and getting the traffic moving and more efficient,” Councilman Danny Begley said.

Linda Smith has lived here for more than 50 years. She says she doesn’t want another two years for change.

“That’s great but it’s far away. I mean it would be nice if they could do it sooner. 2023 I mean how many wrecks are we going to have before then,” said Smith.

Officials in the city’s Public Works office say there’s a reason that it will take that long to see changes. First, the study going on now has to wrap up, then plans need to be drawn up because at least two intersections will need to be changed.

“In order to do that some of the key intersections some improvements need to be made. Primarily at 50th and52nd. It’s showing that turn lanes will be needed or some other traffic control like a roundabout,” said Jeff Riesselman, Omaha traffic engineer.

After so many neighbors have fought so long for the changes, they say they don’t want the money set aside now to be “too good to be true.”

“Well, we are not holding our breath, you know. We will see, we will see what happens,” Patty Coyle said.

Copyright 2021 WOWT. All rights reserved.