Lancaster County gets $9.2M to fix dangerous road

A plan to change a dangerous stretch of road in southern Lancaster County is waiting on final approval this week.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 6:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -A plan to change a dangerous stretch of road in southern Lancaster County is waiting on final approval this week.

The county is planning to use federal funding to upgrade south 68th Street from south of Hickman to the Norris Schools.

South 68th Street from Stagecoach Road to Firth Road is one of the most dangerous in the country.

Three years ago, the Lancaster County Engineer’s Office started studying the road to learn how they could make it safer. Especially for the norris students and families who take the road to school.

“About two-thirds to three-forths of our high school students, we have about 700 high school students, drive themselves to school each day,” said John Schwartz, Superintendent, Norris School District. “As a growing district, we know that high school population is going to continue to grow.”

Largely, those students take south 68th Street.

“It’s been a safety risk for a long time here at Norris to our school community,” said Schwartz. “In particular the stretch of road targeted in this improvement project between Stagecoach and Firth Road.”

The Lancaster County Engineer’s Office compiled a crash map after three years of studying the area.

A plan to change a dangerous stretch of road in southern Lancaster County is waiting on final...
A plan to change a dangerous stretch of road in southern Lancaster County is waiting on final approval this week.(10/11 NOW)

“They’re weighted by severity on local Lancaster County roads,” said Pam Dingman, Lancaster County Engineer. “Where you’re seeing the the orange and red, these are crashes that are severe that caused injuries or property damage. What we really see is the Saltillo Corridor has a large number of crashes as well as the South 68th St. Corridor.”

So, with $5.4 million from NDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, $3.9 million from the Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization and $1.6 million from Lancaster County Taxpayers, the County will work to make necessary improvements like widening South 68th Street.

“Make them into 14 foot lanes, which gives drivers more room to recover,” said Dingman. “In addition we’ll be adding shoulders. We’re also going to do some sight-distance improvements in the corridor as well as intersection improvements.”

Dingman said these improvements will modernize the road, catching it up to current safety standards.

“We need to step into the current century and improve these roads and intersections to meet our growing community needs,” said Dingman.

Final approval for these plans is expected to happen this week. Construction could start around 2025.

Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.