OMAHA, NE – By incorporating Road Diet and Complete Street concepts, the 24th Street corridor in Omaha, NE is now better suited for travelers of all kinds. This award-winning, Benesch-designed project reconfigured the roadway to offer improved safety, promote multi-modal transportation and enhance pedestrian accommodation while optimizing traffic operations.
After the City of Omaha identified safety concerns for bicycles and automobiles relying on 24th Street, they selected Benesch to complete a corridor study, National Environmental Policy Association (NEPA) documentation, engineering design and construction engineering services. Through the study, Benesch was able to develop a concept that met user needs and minimized potential environmental and economic impacts.
“The project presented some unique challenges because this corridor runs through an older part of Omaha. We had to balance the needs of residential homeowners, commercial developments, a high school, and an interchange with I-80,” explained Project Manager Patrick Kastl. “By working with several city departments, neighborhood groups, bicycle advocates, the Omaha South High School and Metro Transit, we were able to find a way to make effective improvements.”
The ultimate solution changed the four-lane undivided roadway to a three-lane roadway with a shared left turn lane and included on-street bike lanes, pedestrian nodes and on-street parking. The solution ultimately reduces the severity of crashes and increases public safety for all users—from pedestrians and cyclists to drivers and mass transit riders.
During construction, Benesch was the City’s construction engineering representative handling all project management, construction observation, construction staking, materials testing and public outreach.
The project recently received an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Nebraska.
“It was truly a Benesch Team effort with Traffic Engineering Group Manager Jim Jussel completing the corridor study, Environmental Group Manager Craig Mielke leading the environmental NEPA coordination, our Omaha design team completing the roadway design, and Project Manager Drew Parks overseeing the construction administration,” said Kastl. “It’s great to know that our teamwork will make travel easier and reduce conflict points.”
Read more about the 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards in this special edition of the Omaha World Herald.