SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) -- Sarpy County officials said Friday afternoon that BNSF would reopen areas along Giles Road that caused massive traffic backups earlier in the day.
The railroad was expected to re-open 180th and Giles at 3:30 p.m. and 156th Street between Harrison and Giles after 6 p.m., the county tweeted.
Friday morning, county officials said they were aware of severe traffic congestion on 168th Street north of Highway 370 and were working to address the issue as quickly as possible.
According to a news release, BNSF Railway closed 156th Street without authorization from Sarpy County. This closure forced additional traffic onto 168th Street, causing Friday morning’s congestion.
The County directed BNSF to reopen the road immediately. However, when Sarpy County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at the site, they discovered crews had already begun work on the railroad crossing, making it impassable for cars.
BNSF personnel at the site reported they would restore the crossing and open the road by rush hour this evening.
Earlier this week, BNSF requested permission to close 156th Street to repair their railroad crossing. However, the Sarpy County Engineer denied the request because 156th Street serves as a detour route for the Harrison Street expansion project.
The news release from county officials stated, "We understand this unauthorized closure caused confusion and delay for thousands of drivers in the area. The Sarpy County Board has already reached out to BNSF leadership to address the issue."