Beltway steers truck traffic south

10/11 NOW at Ten
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 9:59 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Three months ago, Nebraska Parkway, which goes right through south Lincoln, was swollen with traffic as folks went home for the day.

That’s according to Todd Frauen, the manager of Cornhusker Billiard Supply, who would watch the bumper-to-bumper congestion every day.

“We had customers comment that they didn’t like to come here after three o’clock in the afternoon because traffic was so backed up,” Frauen said.

Now, things run a little more smoothly on Nebraska Parkway, formerly Highway 2. And it’s actually helping the billiard shop’s late-day push.

“We see a lot more people later in the days,” Frauen said. “Like I said, it’s just the ease of getting in and out of here.”

That’s exactly what planners had in mind when they designed the Lincoln South Beltway: to give cars an easier, faster commute inside the city by drawing semi-truck traffic away from the Parkway and onto the Beltway instead.

So far, the general manager at Shoemaker’s South, a truck stop right on the South Beltway, said it’s working.

“Definitely have seen an uptick of traffic,” Jordan Palmer, the manager, said. “Definitely have seen an uptick of trucks as well, which is great for business.”

Last time 10/11 spoke with Palmer, right when the Beltway opened, he expressed concern over losing the business of the Beltway’s builders. But now, he said customer flow is going as well as he could have imagined.

“The construction business that we were receiving has now been replaced with semi-truckers, has been replaced with travelers,” he said.

Palmer said he’s eagerly awaiting the travel rush of summer. Back at the billiard shop, Todd said he expects Nebraska Parkway to continue to thin out in the months to come as truck traffic patterns keep moving south.