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City, Commuters Prepping For Traffic Headache On Dodge Street

Kimberly Foley

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City, Commuters Prepping For Traffic Headache On Dodge Street

CREATED Sep. 10, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep. 10, 2013
Omaha, NE -- A huge construction project right through the heart of Omaha is about to get under way.
It's no secret that during rush hour Dodge Street is jam packed with commuters heading home from work.  Starting next Monday, traffic will go from bad to worse.
"Holy cow!" said Omaha resident Judy Kopun. "It's going to be awful."
Starting Monday, Dodge will undergo a massive resurfacing project from 52nd Street to Turner Blvd.
Work will begin on the eastbound lanes first. Traffic will flow in the westbound lanes only, and in one lane each direction. 
The project is set to take eight weeks.
"We apologize for the inconvenience," said Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. "We ask for your patience, but I do think the end results will be, definitely, worth the pain. Hopefully this project will get started, we'll have good weather, and we'll get it completed on time."
The city has mapped out several alternate routes drivers should use to avoid Dodge.
They recommend using Interstate 80 to 480, Center, Leavenworth, Farnam or Cuming Streets to get to the area.
"We'll have some enforcement on Dodge, just to keep an extra eye on it during this time because it can be a little bit difficult for drivers," said Deputy Chief David Baker of the Omaha Police Department. "We want to keep the traffic flowing as smoothly and quickly as we can and keep the accidents to a minimum."
In addition, three Metro routes will also be affected. -- numbers 2, 92 and 98.
Route two is the busiest route in the city with 100 trips a day from downtown to Westroads.
"We will run that regular route up until 44th Street, at which point we will divert it," said Metro Transit Executive Director Curt Simon. "We won't be able to pick up any passengers, for safety reasons, on either side of the street between 52nd and 44th Streets."
The project will be paid for through the $6.4 million the state gave the city to resurface state highways. They will be projects that will require time and patience.
"I think you just have to all for some extra time, and in the end it's good, right?" said resident Tami Lines. "We will have resurfaced roads."
The city says this project is long overdue. It adds to resurfacing on Dodge that happened in the early 90s and 2000s.
For more information on how Metro Transit will be affected, click HERE. Then click on, "Dodge Street Detour."