As South Beltway opens, county roads have wear and tear
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln South Beltway is set to open Wednesday, months ahead of schedule.
But, the construction of the new route has created some extra wear and tear on roads in southern Lancaster County.
A handful of changes have been made to Saltillo Road since the start of that Beltway construction. Blinking lights have been added, the speed limit has been reduced and caution flags have been added.
The Lancaster County Engineer’s office anticipates that as the beltway is opened, traffic will slow down and the agency can figure out what the road needs.
The latest report from the county engineer’s office shows that nearly 7,000 vehicles travel Saltillo Road each day. Factor in construction traffic and rerouted vehicles and roads in the area are feeling the effects of it.
Travel has caused some parts of the asphalt roads to break down and some drivers have taken gravel roads as detours wearing those down too.
“There’s definitely some of maintenance that wasn’t originally planned in these areas. That’s because of all the traffic that’s on the road, one. But then additionally, with all the extra heavy traffic from all the construction, that definitely had an influence on the road,” Ron Bohaty with the engineer’s office said.
The County Engineer’s office said they’ve done a lot of maintenance during this construction period and are talking with the state about some of those concerns.
“Most of the repairs on the gravel roads have been done as they needed to be done throughout this entire process,” Bohaty said. “And we have already seen a reduction in traffic on some of the gravel roads since they’ve opened certain parts of the beltway.”
The county said they’re also working on a safety project for Saltillo from 27th Street to 70th Street that will add shoulders to the road. That is a federally-funded project.
The engineer’s office said they regularly coordinate with the Nebraska Department of Transportation on the status of those county roads. They have an effort going on right now to assess the area after the Beltway is open to see what roads like Saltillo will need.
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