Official: West Dodge Expressway

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Brad
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Official: West Dodge Expressway

Postby Brad » Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:10 am

Official: West Dodge Expressway

Did anyone see the first of the supports of the new Dodge street expressway...   It is Huge, it is located in front of the old Commercial federal  building between 114 and 108.   My guess is that it is about 10' in dimater and 20' to 30' tall.  There is a second smaller one just northwest of 120 and Dodge nad the third will be in place soon by the first one.
Last edited by Brad on Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby eomaha » Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:47 am

Yes I did... I assume you're referring to the iron supports... they haven't cast concrete yet have they? (I haven't driven by in a couple of days)

I'm not sure all the landscaping in the world is going to be able to fix the eyesore this is going to create.

Well... here's to a 5 minute shorter commute. :shock:

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Postby scraper » Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:31 am

This is definately going to take more than 5 minutes off a morning commute. I've been backed up for over 15 minutes at that intersection numerous times. Its not unusual for traffic to be backed up to 144th. And how bad do you think it would be in 5-10 years? Outside of building an outer interstate loop, this is the smartest thing Omaha's traffic engineers could have done, now if it only wouldn't take 4 years to complete.

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Postby eomaha » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:31 am

Oh I'm sorry... I forget that most people drive in to work at 7-8am... I'm passing through at 9-9:30am. :o)

Let's face it though... the smartest thing that the NDOR traffic engineers could have done would have been to address the issue years ago before it became a problem (as fortunately they are doing further west along Dodge). Allowing a large office building/other businesses to be built practically on top of the light controlled intersection was bad planning. Thought should have gone into this when 680 was built and West Dodge remained the major east/west arterial.

There didn't HAVE to be a big ugly elevated expressway bridge running through here.

Will it improve the throughput dramatically... sure. Was it the only solution to the problem... probably. Was it bad planning that led to this... you bet.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:13 pm

I agree, Jeff.
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Postby CountOfMC » Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:43 pm

Yeah, it will no doubt be quicker as long as you're taking 680 N/S but once you hit 90th I'd imagine it's going to get pretty backed up. Seems to me a good chunk of the traffic will just be shifted eastward but at least it'll alleviate the headaches associated w/ 114th. I still think one of Omaha's biggest mistakes to date was not making 370 a freeway.. they had the perfect space for it.
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Postby scraper » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:50 am

I don't think 90th will be nearly as backed up as 114th because all the traffic that takes 680 is at 114th, but won't be at 90th.

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West Dodge Expressway

Postby eomaha » Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:55 am

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Traffic headaches rise with expressway

An elevated expressway along West Dodge Road is still about three years from completion, but within two months it will start looking like a bridge.

Piers are already rising and by November crews will start laying girders between them for the elevated highway - one of the biggest road projects in Omaha's history.

Construction of the bridge deck should start in spring 2005.

As the project takes shape, drivers will continue to deal with traffic headaches that some motorists say are growing worse.

It took a World-Herald reporter 16 minutes during the morning rush earlier this week to drive the four miles from 132nd Street to just east of 90th Street.

Driving the same stretch westbound during the afternoon rush took nearly 14 minutes.

The traffic was mostly stop-and-go morning and afternoon, with the longest waits at 114th Street.

The main work on the elevated expressway started in July, and commuter Brad Terrill said congestion has worsened.

Traffic is slower, he said, and more drivers are hitting their horns.

"People are getting a little testy," said Terrill, who lives near 168th and Blondo Streets.

The Nebraska Department of Roads says traffic is flowing as well as possible considering heavy volume, a reduced speed limit and lanes that shift in the construction zone. Omaha police are running radar to enforce the 35 mph speed limit.

Drivers need to allow a safe following distance and pay attention, said Lt. Dave Baker of the Omaha Police Department.

"There are a lot of distractions," he said.

Baker said he is not aware of any serious accidents in the construction zone in recent months. He said motorists overall are driving safely and traffic is running as well as could be expected.

Baker said it's possible that other east-west streets such as Pacific and Blondo are getting more traffic as commuters look for alternate routes.

Drivers on West Dodge are up against more than construction tied to the expressway.

A separate project, the rebuilding of the interchange of Interstate 680 and West Dodge, is still under way and has a July 1, 2005, deadline (I guess I thought this looked pretty much done).

That means motorists face a construction zone from the east side of I-680 near Westroads Mall all the way west to 132nd Street.

The piers that drivers see starting just west of I-680 are for the elevated expressway.

The piers are built inside blue steel forms that are removed once the concrete sets.

Construction of 12 piers is under way along West Dodge at 112th Street, 114th Street and 120th Street.

Seventy-nine piers ( :shock: ) will be built to support the elevated road.

Hawkins Construction Co. of Omaha has the contract that includes the elevated road, which is part of the $102 million expressway project.

The expressway will run from I-680 to 132nd Street. The elevated portion will extend from just west of I-680 to 124th Street.

The elevated road will carry east-west traffic over 114th Street. A key goal is to eliminate congestion at 114th and West Dodge, one of the city's busiest intersections.

Terrill is looking forward to the day when he can jump on the elevated expressway and cruise to his job downtown without having to stop at 114th Street.

Until then, he's willing to put up with the traffic problems.

"It can be frustrating," he said. "But they are trying to make progress."


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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:11 am

I was just out on West Dodge this past weekednd and many more of the massive bridge supports are being pored. It's actually pretty crazy. I can only imagine what it will be like once all the pylons are in and the bridge deck is being constructed. :shock:
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Postby GoWest » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:26 am

I drive through this mess everyday and hate it. I work in Old Mill and the new access road is a joke. It is half as long as the old one and is only one lane. I think Omaha will regret this monstrosity. I would have been fine losing a Mc Donald’s and a couple of other businesses for a regular overpass.

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Postby eomaha » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:33 am

I assume you're referring to the temporary access road which is further east up the hill... I suspect there will be a bad rear end collision there at somepoint.

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Postby GoWest » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:41 am

Yep the temporary one. I should have clarified.

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Postby futrecndvlpr » Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:30 pm

I get to drive through there everyday also. I have to say I am surprised by a couple of things.

First, I am surprised by the sheer size of the project.
Second, I am surprised by how well I think the contractors/state have done with traffic. I can't say that I have noticed any real difference in the time it takes to get through 114 since construction has begun.

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Postby eomaha » Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:49 pm

I have thought the same futrecndvlpr.

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Postby edsas » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:20 pm

I know it's heretic of me to say (we all like mass transit), but I think this expressway will actually be a thing of beauty. It reminds me a lot of the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles built in the 90s. When most people think of LA freeways, they think of the old, crumbling ones built in the 50s and 60s. But the Harbor Freeway has elevated roads above lower roads (like the West Dodge) and is very sleek and clean and when you come up to interchanges, the layers upon layers of swooping ramps are breathtaking. Not to mention, the elevation of the road gives you a great view of the DT skyline. I get the impression that the West Dodge will be much the same way.

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Postby jborg » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:19 pm

I would have to agree with edsas. With the landscaping, I think it will look kinda cool.

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Postby barndog » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:54 pm

Glad to know I wasn't alone in this, but I have to admit, for some reason I kind of dig it too.

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Postby jiminomaha » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:26 pm

I was really shocked when I read in the OWH article about the 14 and 16 minute delays between 680 and 132nd street during morning and night rush hours. Thats really impressive that the city could keep traffic moving so quickly during a MAJOR road construction project. When I lived in Denver you could sit on I-25 for 15 minutes and move 1 block during rush hour. And I remember once, not so long ago, sitting on 494 in Minneapolis going from Eden Prairie to Bloomington and travelling about 3 lenghts of a football field in 30 minutes--without construction. 15 minutes from 680 to 32nd street during rush hour is still a a breeze comparitively.

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Roadwork Ahead of Schedule?

Postby Coyote » Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:22 pm

Dodge Project Ahead Of Schedule
Expressway Due For Completion In 2008

OMAHA, Neb. -- The Nebraska Department of Roads said the West Dodge Road project is on time and under budget.

Crews have completed about 6 percent of the elevated expressway, which will transform West Dodge Road in coming years. It is scheduled for completion in November 2008.

The project has made rush hours slow-going, frustrating many commuters.

"Ah, it's way more than interesting," driver Raymond Partee said. "It becomes suicide at some point."

Partee makes a lunch run every day from his Old Mill office to restaurant row near 114th and Dodge streets. Recently, it's become a crawl.

"If you get from point A and come back to B, you probably gotta go through the entire alphabet to get there," Partee said. "I just see big piles of dirt. I mean, it's been two months and the dirt's gotten bigger."

The state roads department said new ground is broken daily as crews put up 80 piers to support the elevated road. So far, 10 of the overhead expressway support structures are in place and more will pop up over winter.

"This 114th and Dodge can handle the existing traffic," said Karl Burns, with the Department of Roads. "I mean, it is handling it today. Yeah, you might have to sit through two or three lights, but it does travel."

A $1 million incentive keeps the contractor from slowing down the project. Hawkins Construction stands to make up to $1.6 million if the company meets certain deadlines. If Hawkins fails, it could cost them, including one provision of the contract that fines Hawkins $40,000 a day if a piece of the project scheduled for 2007 isn't completed within three months.

Parts of this project are ahead of schedule, including the westbound offramp at 120th Street. The realignment of the roadway wasn't supposed to get under way until 2005.


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This is a view of West Dodge Road and the Old Mill Area, looking to the northwest as it stands now.


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This is what the same area would look like with the proposed expressway. In the middle of the picture, you can see the two off-ramps from the expressway. One would take cars to I-680. The other would take traffic to West Dodge Road.


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This is a current shot of West Dodge Road and 114th Street looking to the west.


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This is how the intersection of West Dodge Road and 114th Street would look with the new expressway. Traffic on Dodge and 114th would have to obey a traffic light. But expressway traffic would bypass the intersection


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This shot shows a ground-level view of West Dodge Road and 114th Street, looking to the west, as it exists now.


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If the expressway is built, drivers trying to get in and out of west Omaha would not have to stop at the traffic light.


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This picture looks east toward 114th Street at the bottom of the hill.


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If the expressway is built, it will stand on pillars along the north and south sides of West Dodge Road. Continuous concrete barriers would prevent out-of-control cars from smashing into the pillars.


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This is what the intersection of 120th Street and West Dodge Road currently looks like.


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If the expressway is built, traffic lights would direct traffic on both streets, while expressway traffic would move above

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Postby projectman » Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:07 pm

Finally a contractor taking responsibility for finishing on time or ahead of schedule. What a concept? And a $1.6 million incentive to finish early. Is that what they mean by Rocket Science?

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Postby OmahaMan25 » Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:41 pm

Thank god! Out of all the projects effecting this city, this one effects me the most.

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Postby Raraavis » Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:34 am

Why in the world are they making 120th and Dodge an at grade intersection. So much for going north or south on 120th street. All of the traffic that gets on or off Dodge on 120th now have to wait at lights at both 120th and 114th. They should run the overpass over the existing interchange.

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Postby eomaha » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:25 am

Raraavis... it will only be local traffic at these intersections... if the drivers know what they're doing. Anyone headed west on Dodge will want to get on the expressway (just west of 680) as well... thereby bypassing these intersections.

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Postby Raraavis » Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:35 pm

If you want to get on or off at 120th street you can not take the overpass because there is no 120th street exit from the overpass. I guarantee 114th and Dodge and 120th and Dodge will still be two of the busiest intersections in Omaha.

My question is why not just build the overpass over the existing 120th street interchange?

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Postby eomaha » Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:48 pm

Raraavis... the only traffic backing up at 114th and 120th Street... will be those cars coming to or leaving the 114th and 120th Street areas. Today... the big backups are caused by traffic coming from all points east and west... going through these intersections. When the expressway is completed... anyone coming from points east and west of the expressway... will take the expressway... not Dodge through these intersections. All the light controlled intersections east of the expressway (ie 90th, 72nd, etc, etc) don't have that 'luxury'.

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Postby OmahaMan25 » Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:26 pm

Well also you have to figure in the cost of the project. It would add a huge chunck to the project cost. Also, I don't thing the bridge can be build high enough to go over 120 becasue the expressway ends around 124, so that wouldn't a very good idea to keep that.

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Postby Brad » Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:12 pm

As someone who drives throught this intersection daily, and works at 108 & Dodge, I think they are making great progress, everyday there is something new. The other night on my way home from school at 9pm there was a dozen cement mixers dacked up waiting to empty their load.

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West Dodge Expressway

Postby Brad » Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:12 pm

Looking west from the top of the new expressway pier.

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Pier from which the previous picture was taken.

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These are older photos, probably taken two months ago. They are from the Nebraska Department Of Roads website.

Today they started to put the cement I beams between the piers in the above photos. You can really get a sence of the big size of the project with the I beams across.

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Postby eomaha » Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:42 pm

Photo I took a week and a half ago of the stretch of piers going up on the south side of Dodge... east of 114th.

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Postby OhioStreetKid » Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:15 pm

I drove through there this evening and they have started to put spans up connecting the piers on the south side of the street by the title company building. I must say compared to other less complex projects, these workers are really bookin'. 8)

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Postby CountOfMC » Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:50 pm

Let's be realistic here.. they could bang out this project in 2-3 years if they wanted, even less. I'm not too impressed.. it's a sad sad thing to think how slow things are done around here. Sure, it'll be great when it's done but to think that there's still another 4 years of work to be done is unbelievable.

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Postby projectman » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:13 am

Lets' hope WBE is out of the picture for all future road construction.

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Postby Swift » Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:15 am

CountOfMC wrote:Let's be realistic here.. they could bang out this project in 2-3 years if they wanted, even less. I'm not too impressed.. it's a sad sad thing to think how slow things are done around here. Sure, it'll be great when it's done but to think that there's still another 4 years of work to be done is unbelievable.

Omaha the unfathomable...


If they keep the pace they've had for the past two months, then I would say two years tops. IF they keep that pace.

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Postby CountOfMC » Thu Nov 04, 2004 2:18 pm

Swift wrote:
CountOfMC wrote:Let's be realistic here.. they could bang out this project in 2-3 years if they wanted, even less. I'm not too impressed.. it's a sad sad thing to think how slow things are done around here. Sure, it'll be great when it's done but to think that there's still another 4 years of work to be done is unbelievable.

Omaha the unfathomable...


If they keep the pace they've had for the past two months, then I would say two years tops. IF they keep that pace.


Yea, the operative word is IF. Don't count on it though. I don't believe they'll be able to get any work done over the winter.. so this momentum they've got goin on now will dissipate in about a month. We'll see what '05 brings. I'd love to see it done early though.
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Postby Swift » Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:28 pm

CountOfMC wrote:
Swift wrote:
CountOfMC wrote:Let's be realistic here.. they could bang out this project in 2-3 years if they wanted, even less. I'm not too impressed.. it's a sad sad thing to think how slow things are done around here. Sure, it'll be great when it's done but to think that there's still another 4 years of work to be done is unbelievable.

Omaha the unfathomable...


If they keep the pace they've had for the past two months, then I would say two years tops. IF they keep that pace.


Yea, the operative word is IF. Don't count on it though. I don't believe they'll be able to get any work done over the winter.. so this momentum they've got goin on now will dissipate in about a month. We'll see what '05 brings. I'd love to see it done early though.


Indeed it is, that's why I capitalized it.

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Postby Brad » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:01 pm

I am sure they will keep pace. With all the negetive pub about road construction around here, don't you think it would be great pub for a company like Hawkins to finish early.

Last night(thursday) when I left work they were setting the spans between the piers at 10:30 p.m. Then after some of my co-workers and I left the bar at 1:00am, they were still working.

Last night(thursday) at work, we had a guest come in. He was in town to check on the machine that is drilling holes along the creek so support the overpass where it crosses the papio creek. He said the the holes along the creek are 75 ft deep and they can drill almost 1 per day.

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Postby eomaha » Sun Nov 07, 2004 9:04 am

I think comparing city street work to a state project like West Dodge is apples and oranges. Hawkins is really moving... they stuck these truss spans up overnight practically... it's really starting to look (for better or for worse) like an expressway bridge.

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A view of the truss work closer to 120th...

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Postby Will » Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:51 am

Does anyone know when they will close the 120th street bridge?
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Postby OhioStreetKid » Sun Nov 07, 2004 12:29 pm

It is the very last phase of the project. I believe it must be removed and the road replaced by the beginning of the 2008 school year.


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