42nd Street closure concerning Omaha residents

Neighbors of the Leavenworth area in Omaha are concerned over a road closure that could cause major traffic issues.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 4:27 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A major street closure in Omaha may cause some problems for residents in the central part of the city.

All four lanes for 42nd Street are closing between Leavenworth and Pacific streets for about five weeks while the Metropolitan Utilities District works.

The stretch of 42nd Street near the Pacific typically provides quick and easy access to Leavenworth Street and area hospitals.

But with this four-lane road being shut down, big trucks and cars speeding through neighborhoods on either side of the closure is a concern to those who live here if drivers get caught not heeding the “Road Closed” signs.

“It’s a little frustrating because you forget about it,” neighbor Brooke Monaco said. “You forget that it’s closed because it’s just like your natural instinct. Then a lot of the traffic from 42nd flows down Pacific Street. With a three-year-old, it’s just something you kind of worry about.”

Road closures are becoming a regular event for neighbors here, with repairs after a few water main breaks on 42nd Street.

One neighbor who didn’t want to go on camera tells 6 News that streets on either side of the construction zone are already congested during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

More traffic would add to that problem.

“I’ll certainly be avoiding 42nd,” the neighbor said. “I think there will probably be a lot more traffic on Saddle Creek and then a lot more on 45th Street that cuts through the neighborhood between Center Street. There’s churches and schools and all sorts of stuff going on so, yeah, there’s a lot of pedestrian traffic.”

Residents know the work has to get done and say they appreciate the attention to infrastructure the area is garnering.

They just hope the closure doesn’t change the fabric of their neighborhood.

Electronic signs along 42nd Street warning drivers about the closure were up early Monday morning.

There are also significant lane restrictions on 42nd Street between Leavenworth and Interstate 80, so drivers are encouraged to find alternative routes whenever possible.

M.U.D. issued the following statement to 6 News:

Metropolitan Utilities District, along with its contract partners, is performing gas and water work along 42nd Street between Leavenworth and Pacific. Work is scheduled to begin September 18 and run for four to five weeks. Various road closures will be in place during the project. New gas mains and services are being installed, and older mains in the area are being abandoned.

Concurrently, water services are being reconnected along 42nd Street as a result of the June 6 water main break at 42nd and Marcy. Once reconnections are made, M.U.D. crews will abandon cast iron water mains.

City of Omaha crews will complete the project by overlaying asphalt on 42nd Street.