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Mayor Heading City Letter Head
Public Works & Utilities Department
Engineering Services, 531 Westgate Blvd., Lincoln, NE 68528, 441-7711, fax 441-6576

Date:
September 16, 2002

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Linda Weaver Beacham, Project Manager, The Schemmer Associates, 488-2500
Stroud Evans, Construction Administrator, The Schemmer Associates, 488-2498
Larry Duensing, City Project Manager, Public Works and Utilities Dept., 441-7711
Randy Howard, President, Constructors Inc., 434-1764

First Phase of East "O" Street Project to Finish Ahead of Schedule
One-way pairs system begins Wednesday

Mayor Don Wesely today announced that road work on the first phase of the East "O" Street Project will be finished Wednesday, September 18, more than four weeks ahead of schedule. Constructors Inc. began Phase One in March 2002 with a deadline of October 19 to finish widening East "O" from two to three lanes in each direction from 52nd Street to Eastridge Drive. The first phase has also included reconstruction on 56th Street between "P" and "N" streets and on Cotner between "P" and Randolph streets.

"I want to thank members of the public for their patience during the construction and congratulate Constructors Inc. for finishing ahead of schedule," said Mayor Wesely. "This is the major east-west route through our city, so finishing construction in a timely manner was a priority. We look forward to beginning Phase Two next March as we work to ease traffic congestion and improve safety on East 'O' Street." Phase Two will widen East "O" from two to three lanes in each direction from Eastridge Drive to Wedgewood Drive and will include work on 66th and 70th streets.

The one-way pairs traffic system around East "O" will begin at 6 a.m. Wednesday. The system is designed to handle the heavy traffic safely by prohibiting left turns at the intersections of "O" Street with 56th Street and Cotner Boulevard. Under the system, 56th Street between "P" and Randolph will be one way south; Cotner from Randolph to "P" will be one way north; "P" between Cotner and 56th will be one way west; and "N" from 56th to Cotner will be one way east. New permanent street signs and changeable message boards will guide drivers through the new system.

A public meeting about the one-way pairs system will be held at 6:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Monday, September 16, in the Lincoln Ballroom at the Villager Courtyard and Gardens, 52nd and "O" streets. Representatives from the City, The Schemmer Associates and Constructors Inc. will be on hand to answer questions.

The City adopted the one-way pairs concept in January 2000 after an extensive public review process. Linda Weaver Beacham, Project Manager with The Schemmer Associates, said that in addition to handling traffic more efficiently and safely, the concept avoids the need to widen 56th Street and Cotner Boulevard through residential neighborhoods.

A 1997 traffic study by The Schemmer Associates showed that 36,900 vehicles a day were traveling on "O" Street, which was designed to handle up to 32,000 vehicles a day. Projections show that traffic on "O" Street will increase to more than 45,000 vehicles a day by 2020.

The latest information on the project can be found on the 24-Hour East "O" Street Information Line, 441-0432, and on th city website.

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