City leaders talk street improvements in the Capital City

Lincoln officials discuss $61.4 million investment in city roads
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 11:29 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In the past few years, a rise in sales taxes has allowed Lincoln to devote more dollars to fixing and maintaining roads.

Today, the mayor and city leaders discussed how that money is being spent--and what drivers may notice. Lincoln drivers saw more orange cones than they’re used to in previous construction seasons. City officials say crews improved 28 miles of Lincoln streets with a total of 38 projects between September 2021 and September 2022.

The city’s investment totaled $61.4 million in that period--the largest ever Lincoln streets investment in a year.

“Bright, orange construction cones are undeniable signs of street progress that offer a multitude of benefits and are well worth it when complete,” Liz Elliot, director of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, said. “Our teams have been hard at work this summer construction season.”

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said streets have been a priority for her administration.

“Streets support us in so many facets of daily life,” Gaylor said. “We travel our streets to get to our jobs in the morning and return home on them in the evening. We buckle up our children and drive them to and from school on our streets.”

Gaylor Baird highlighted the following statistics about roads in Lincoln:

  • 75% of Lincoln arterial and collector streets are in good to very good condition.
  • Commute times for Lincoln residents are nearly 10 minutes less than the national average.
  • 24-7 Wallstreet website ranks Lincoln as the ninth-safest city (out of 194 cities) in which to drive.
  • The likelihood of a collision in Lincoln is 7.7% less than the U.S. average, according to 24-7 Wallstreet.

“Every division within LTU works together to offer growth and improvement opportunities across the community. This investment has delivered real results as street projects have improved more than 28 miles of streets in Lincoln this year,” Elliott said.

According to the city of Lincoln, projects of note in 2022 include:

  • West “A” Improvement Project – As one of Lincoln’s largest street and utility projects in city history, LTU and its partners have laid 22 football fields worth of concrete during the first half of the project. Other features include improvements to two-and-a-half miles of streets and utilities, new roundabouts to increase safety, a walking and biking trail, and bus stop pads for the blossoming development in this area.
  • LTU has conducted improvements and construction projects on 28 miles of streets, which include 52,000 tons of asphalt and 38,000 square yards of concrete laid, 4,000 linear feet of curb and gutter replacements, and 2,600 linear feet of sidewalk repair.
  • More than 18,600 potholes have been filled this year, including 250 community requests.
  • Nearly 3,000 lane blocks of cracks have been sealed to help extend the life of Lincoln streets.
  • Progress to achieve national school zones standards continues with 10 school zones being improved this year and 21 total school zones improved since 2020.
  • Dozens of street improvement projects were conducted this year in neighborhoods in all quadrants of the city such as Belmont, Union College, South Salt Creek, Wedgewood, Clinton, Near South and more.

City Council member James Michael Bowers was also in attendance, saying “Residents and business owners tell me that repaved streets, along with rebuilt sidewalks and ramps, are helping them drive, bike, and walk more safely and more conveniently every day,” Bowers said. “The City Council has worked hard with the Mayor to provide resources in the City budget to fuel these great street improvements.”

For more information, visit //lincoln.ne.gov/projects or contact Thomas Shafer, LTU Assistant Director, at 402-525-5644 or tshafer@lincoln.ne.gov. V

Visit the LTU projects website at lincoln.ne.gov/projects.