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NDOT preparing for I-80 bridge construction project

 To be able to support transportation around the metro, NDOT on Wednesday laid out road construction projects already underway with more scheduled. (WOWT)
To be able to support transportation around the metro, NDOT on Wednesday laid out road construction projects already underway with more scheduled. (WOWT) (WOWT)
Published: Apr. 22, 2020 at 12:07 PM CDT
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Despite the coronavirus outbreak halting life across the world, road construction projects across the Omaha-metro continue.

NDOT presented some of those projects Wednesday.

"Transportation is so essential to our quality of life," Kyle Schneweis, the director of the Department of Transportation, said. "We saw that during the flood, we saw the impact to our economy and to people's lives when roads and bridges fail. And so transportation is just as important today as it ever was."

To be able to support transportation around the metro, NDOT on Wednesday laid out road construction projects already underway with more scheduled.

One of the most notable is "Project M."

"This is the one that's going to affect most of the traffic in the Omaha metro this year," Dist. 2 engineer Tim Weander said.

The project, rolled out in phases starting June 1, will consist of work on several bridges over Interstate 80: at 50th Street, 42nd Street, and 34th Street. It also includes the I-80 bridge over northbound I-480.

"We will repair the bridge decks and approach slabs, replace expansion joins, and place asphalt overlay with membrane to protect and extend the bridge life," Weander said.

The project should cost $5.3 million and be completed this fall or in Spring 2021, depending on the weather.

"To minimize these I-80 disruptions eastbound ramps will be closed at 72nd, 60th, and 42nd street during different phases of this project," Weander said.

Initial traffic studies were done before the coronavirus pandemic. With 44% fewer drivers on the road in Douglas County alone, the project could have less of an impact.

"If we're still in June with COVID traffic numbers being down, these queues will be less and we'll have less delay," Weander said.

Right now, NDOT is still looking for bids for "Project M." The bids will close on April 30.

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