South Beltway Public Forum held Tuesday - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

South Beltway Public Forum held Tuesday

The city approved the South Beltway Project in May, after issues with funding the past. Tuesday they presented their plan to the public, making it one step closer to reality.

They presented the plan to a packed house at the Sesostris Shrine Center.

Khalil Jaber of the Nebraska Dept. of Transportation says, 

"We're here to share information about the latest modifications, that we did to this highway and our design, and we need to get input from the public, regarding what they're seeing."

The $300-million project will affect several businesses along the route and three residential homes, but the main criticism, Tuesday night didn't come from those against the project it came from those that think it's taking too long.

Don Miller, who lives by the proposed route, says, "They've been talking about it for 45 years and then they're not even going to start it until 2020, and it just seems like it's taken an awful long time."

The NDOT says they want to get it done as soon as possible, but have to go through the legal steps before it's all approved, which includes minimizing environmental impact to wildlife and wetland that the beltway will cross.

"Around bridges, around interchanges, access points-- all these are now refined to the levels to where we can present it to the public and then they are part of the environmental assessment document," said Jaber.

This forum was crucial to the process as well.

"So we can incorporate this over into the final document, and then become the project record," added Jaber.

City officials say this project will help keep traffic moving and cut down on accidents.

The project won't be started until 2020 and they say it could take anywhere from five to seven years to complete.


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