Changes ahead for a southwest Lincoln intersection - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Changes ahead for a southwest Lincoln intersection

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By: Kayla Bremer

The plan for a major roundabout project in southwest Lincoln has been put on hold.  But a new, short-term plan for the 14th and Warlick, and Old Cheney area was announced by city officials Tuesday morning.

"As Lincoln has expanded to the south and east, the area has become a traffic bottleneck," the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Rick Hoppe said.

Over the next few months, temporary and less expensive changes will be made to help traffic congestion in the area.

Those include:

-Replacing stop signs with yield signs
-Narrowing northbound Warlick Boulevard to a single lane
-Changing traffic light timing
-Creating a dual left turn lane at 16th and Old Cheney

"In the p.m. peak out here (16th & Old Cheney), we get a lot of traffic stacked up looking to make that southbound left turn and so by creating a dual left turn there that will help move traffic a lot faster," Randy Hoskins said.

Mayor Chris Beutler made the decision to delay permanent changes until the city completes a review of roundabout safety and performance.  This comes after an increase in accidents at the 14th and Superior roundabout.

"While crashes have been much less severe and less costly, we are having more of them," Hoppe said.

Three different designs for 14th and Warlick were submitted to the city in June of 2012.  Two of them recommend multiple–lane roundabouts, one of them elevated.  But Mayor Beutler is unwilling to commit potentially $20 million in public funds until the roundabout review is complete.

He says he would rather make the right choice, over the quick choice.

The review of the 14th and Superior roundabout is expected to be complete by this fall.

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