Officials: Four-lane bridge needed
The new bridge will provide for four 12-foot-wide through lanes and a 4-foot-wide raised median with 10-foot-wide shoulders and a 10-foot-wide bike trail.
Its access on the Iowa side will stretch to just west of 36th Street where it will hook up with the South Omaha Bridge Road that will be widened to four lanes under a different project.
Most of the new bridge will be constructed while traffic is maintained on the existing bridge.
That bridge, however, will have to close for four to six months in the construction's final stages to complete the new structure.
Traffic will be detoured along Interstate 80 via South 13th Street in Omaha and South 24th Street in Council Bluffs.
Work is to begin in the fall of 2007 and completed three years later, officials said.
and today's OW-H:
Neighbors concerned by bridge
Residents raised concerns Thursday about increased traffic, noise and loss of homes if the state proceeds with plans for replacing the Veterans Memorial Bridge in south Omaha.
Janet Bonet, a representative of the Spring Lake Neighborhood Association, said residents will be glad to have a wider, safer bridge. People in south Omaha use the bridge to get to Council Bluffs, and a new bridge would make the trip quicker and easier, she said.
Residents also are glad the new bridge would include a sidewalk, she said.
But Bonet said neighbors are concerned that increased traffic from the bigger bridge could make the neighborhood dangerous, particularly for children.
The Roads Department says the 69-year-old bridge needs to be replaced because it is deteriorating and too narrow, considering that traffic counts are predicted to increase.
The state says the intersection of 13th Street and Missouri Avenue must be reconstructed as part of the project.
The reconstruction of 13th Street would extend from south of O Street to J Street. The work on Missouri Avenue would extend west to 16th Street.