City unveils new preliminary design for 14th and Old Cheney, Warlick area
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It’s an intersection that’s been a hot topic and a headache for many drivers for years now in south Lincoln. Thursday night, neighbors got the first look at plans to change the intersections of 14th Street, Old Cheney Road, and Warlick Boulevard.
The design for an elevated roundabout first axed about a year ago, is no more. It’s been replaced by a plan which the city said makes improvements while keeping traffic signals.
“We evaluated three or four different alternatives and we came up with something that we felt is both affordable and easy to construct,” said Danielle Vachal, the senior engineer with Lincoln Transportation and Utilities.
The proposed plan would take away a section of Old Cheney Road between Salt Valley View and Warlick. In its place, it adds what the city is calling connector roadways, which both have roundabouts.
“Part of the ultimate intersection is to sever the connection of Old Cheney to 14th Street just to the west of 14th,” Vachal said. “So what we want to build is what we’re calling the connector road and that is a connection between old Cheney and Warlick. So that connector road does have small roundabouts at the north section of Old Cheney and the south intersection of Warlick.”
The event hosted at Lincoln Southwest High School drew dozens of neighbors who were able to submit their thoughts after seeing the designs. Some said they’ve been making suggestions for years already, and that there is still work to be done.
“If you’re diverting all the traffic from Old Cheney onto here, plus a new casino opening up it’s gonna cause some problems. There have been accidents there and injuries, so there’s safety concerns,” said Don Whelan who lives in the area.
One of the reasons for doing away with the original plan was the cost. Coming in at bout $44 million to build the old one, the newest proposal has a price tag of about $29 million.
LTU said the intersection sees more than 40,000 cars a day and that’s only going up; by 2045 it’ll be closer to 52,000.
“We reevaluated what our goals are and that is to address safety and to reduce delay as people drive to the intersection and then also work with pedestrian connectivity from the neighborhoods to some of the commercial areas,” Vachal said.
Right now, the project is still labeled as preliminary plans with rooms and time for changes. The city is accepting suggestions online through July 14th.
Officials hope to finish the project by 2025.
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