Wahoo reacts to Nebraska DOT plans to slow down deadly intersection
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Three months after a fatal crash took the lives of three siblings, the Nebraska Department of Transportation presented a plan to slow traffic at the intersection of US-77 and Nebraska Highway 109 in Wahoo.
According to Wahoo Mayor Jerry Johnson, there have been six deaths since the intersection opened, including five in a ten month period. Although they had been in discussions with N-DOT for some time, July’s fatal crash accelerated the call for changes.
“The director was out here the morning after the accident,” Johnson said. “I understand this was the second, third most dangerous intersection in the state. We’re happy with what they proposed.”
After a traffic study and some discussion with city and county officials, N-DOT presented its plans this week. Beginning in November they will begin work to “reduce conflict points” closing some approach lanes and reducing others while lowering the speed limit in that area to 55 mph. Then they plan to begin installing a roundabout in the summer of 2022.
”I think there’s a lot of citizens not real comfortable with a roundabout,” said Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholz. “But I’m confident a roundabout is certainly gonna save lives, and reduce serious injuries. We may have to investigate a few fender benders, but we’ll take that over a fatality any day.”
”We’re a small community, we’re blessed that way,” said lifelong Wahoo resident Joanie Peterson. “The people stand up for the other people, and we don’t want to see anybody else get hurt, or lose anybody we love or they love. So I think it’s a good idea, and if we have to further do something else, it will be done.”
”We’re just happy the Department of Transportation worked out a plan, looks like they’re gonna do something quickly, and there’s some long-term things they’re gonna have to do,” Stukenholz said. “We’re just gonna have to be patient and hope we get to a point where something is done before we have another accident.”
Information about the plan can be found on N-DOT’s website.
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