Construction for new bus system will hamper traffic on Dodge

Published: Aug. 29, 2019 at 8:29 AM CDT
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A $35 million transit project is set to break ground in Omaha in less than a week and once that project is in motion you’ll need to brace for some traffic congestion on Dodge.

Metro Transit Outreach Coordinator Jason Rose said the goal is to ultimately improve travel on that busy travel route. “With a more reliable system, we can really reduce that congestion on Dodge Street."

“We're hoping to provide those people with some more transportation options that aren't just a car," Rose said.

The ORBT Transit rapid bus system will be on the street by next spring. The 60-foot, six-wheel buses are designed to speed up traffic and give Omahans another way to get around between the downtown and Westroads Mall.

Rose said, “We'll be digging into some of the platform work on the western stations first and then kind of working east."

Construction on the 24 station stops along the route begins in less than a week. Rose said simultaneous work on 15 stops could clog up fall travel on Dodge. “With that comes a significant amount of construction."

Rose said the 15 constructions sites could require eight lane closures all at once – eight miles of construction, coming this fall.

"We're working on an expedited schedule. We're trying to be pretty quick about this so we can get as much work done before the winter shutdown. Before the weather really turns on us."

Rose said the end result will be worth it with 10 new buses in play by the time the snow clears.

A lot of the work will be done behind the curb so sidewalks will be closed as well.