PLATTSMOUTH — Nebraska Department of Roads officials vowed this month to take another look at the design proposed for the expansion of the expressway from Plattsmouth to Murray on U.S. 75.
The decision followed an informational meeting about the project at which some attendees wanted the design altered to add a stoplight at First Avenue and U.S. 75. in Plattsmouth.
Plans call for upgrading 6.83 miles of U.S. 75 in Cass County to include four traffic lanes, a 22-foot median and surfaced shoulders.
The plan includes removing the highway crossing at First Avenue. Southbound and northbound drivers on U.S. 75 would still be able to make left-hand turns onto Westside Drive or First Avenue, but traffic on Westside Drive and First Avenue would not be able to cross the highway.
Some attendees at the open house lobbied for redesigning the plan to add a stoplight at the intersection and keep the crossing open.
Tim Weander, a Department of Roads engineer, said the department doesn’t like to put signals closer than one-half mile from each other.
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“It’s hard to get progression and get traffic through when stops are closer,” he said.
Nevertheless, Weander said the roads department would review plans.
Discussions about the project were initiated in 1979 when an environmental-impact statement was completed for the Nebraska City-to-Omaha corridor.
Preliminary designs were created in 2005 and the Department of Roads conducted a public meeting about the project. However, a lack of funding caused the project to be “shelved" until the Legislature passed the Build Nebraska Act.
In 2016, the Department of Roads announced it might begin the project as early as fall 2018, depending on the availability of funding.
The project cost is estimated at $30 million.