UNMC hears public input on upcoming Saddle Creek corridor changes

The changes that will impact community members are based on public safety and traffic flow.
Changes are coming to the Saddle Creek corridor as Nebraska Medicine's campus continues to expand.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 10:21 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus continues to expand, some changes to the Saddle Creek Road corridor over the next two years could have some impacts on commutes in the area.

“[They’re] important projects to improve public safety, support greater traffic flow, and generate better pedestrian ways through this part of town,” says Brian Spencer, the Executive Director of Real Estate and Campus Development from UNMC and Nebraska Medicine.

Wednesday night, UNMC officials met with community members to discuss some of those changes. It comes as the health system expands to the other side of Saddle Creek.

“I live in the area and I’ve owned a place for over 30 years and I was kind of curious about what’s going on,” says neighbor Randy Anderson at Wednesday’s meeting.

The changes that will impact community members are based on public safety and traffic flow. New traffic lights will be installed and improvements will be made at two intersections on Saddle Creek at Leavenworth and Emilie streets.

“We’ll also be installing a median to prevent the number of left-hand collisions we see,” Spencer says about the stretch of road between Farnam and Leavenworth.

A traffic light will also be installed at 46th and Farnam, where there currently isn’t one.

“There will be a dedicated bikeway through the district along the 46th Street corridor that will connect out to both Leavenworth and up to Farnam,” Spencer adds about the changes in the area.

“I bicycle through this area a lot,” says Clyde Anderson, who doesn’t live near the area but attended Wednesday’s meeting. “There’s not a very safe route to get to the intersection of Douglas and Saddle Creek to get to the Field Club trail at Leavenworth and 39th streets.”

Clyde was pleased to learn about the added bike lane through the congested area, which he says will allow for better riding.

“I think that overall they’re making a lot of changes that are going to make it a lot safer for everybody.”

New sidewalks will be added and others improved along the entire stretch, along with new and improved street lighting.

“Part of this redevelopment is to make midtown Omaha and the med center an even better place to live and work and play so that it’s easier to recruit and retain people,” Spencer adds.

“I think it’ll be a good process, I’m happy with it,” Randy adds.

View the plans and project phases, which are expected to begin this spring, on the Saddle Creek Campus Improvements website.