Omaha area crash victim applauds new all-way stop at Highway 275 and West Dodge

A new four-way stop is implemented at a highway intersection
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:55 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A dangerous intersection just west of Omaha got a major safety boost Monday.

For one driver it’s welcome but a little late.

For decades, signs told stopped drivers on West Dodge to watch for through traffic on Highway 275, but not everyone heeded the warning.

“She pulled right in front of me,” Pastor Davis Nordstrand said.

On a Friday afternoon about three weeks ago, Pastor David Nordstrand was traveling at highway speed with the right of way and slammed into a car crossing through the intersection. No report on that driver but airbags saved David from serious injury.

“I feel blessed, blessed it could have been a lot worse and without the modern technology I could have been killed.”

Pastor David gives his blessing to safety changes Monday morning.

State Department of Transportation crews placed flashing lights on top of new stop signs for Highway 275 traffic. The intersection is now a four-way stop.

Rumble strips have also been cut in to make sure you hear it.

A Waterloo rescue squad responds to 10 bad crashes at the intersection every year.

“Most of the times when we have calls at this intersection, we put Lifenet on standby,” said Waterloo Assistant Fire Chief Jim Cooke.

Cooke hopes the new stop signs with flashing red lights on top will help rescue crews not turn theirs on so much.

“You know it’s slowed everybody down. If everybody does follow the stop signs it will hopefully prevent some of those accidents from happening.”

Residents of nearby West Shores travel through the intersection heading into Omaha.

“I guess I’m glad about it, you know it will slow the traffic down and there’s been enough accidents there it will be useful,” West Shores resident Sandra Merkel said.

A four-way stop will change the impression Pastor David Nordstrand has of the intersection since his crash here left an impression on him.

“I’ve not gone through that intersection since,” Nordstrand said. “I’ll look forward to going back that way.”

The district engineer says the Department of Transportation studied the intersection and decided a roundabout would be the most effective way to improve safety. But that takes time to design and obtain environmental approvals - not to mention funding. So, they decided a four-way stop is the best option until a roundabout project could begin in 2026.