13th street road improvements project

Posted By: Pierce Georlett

pgeorlett@klkntv.com 

Mayor Chris Beutler rolled out his plan which he says will improve traffic flow on 13th street and provide more safety.

On 13th street there is a portion of it that is four lane road, and the goal of this project is to add a turn lane, a bike line on the side, and make it into a 3 lane road.

"We’re doing this to improve safety and traffic flow the project also includes enhanced crosswalks and the additional bike lanes to increase safety and mobility for all users," says Mayor Chris Beutler.

According to the mayor having a 4 lane road is something you won’t be seeing in Lincoln’s future.

"This type of older design is no longer used when we build streets in Lincoln. In face this type of design is discouraged nationally as well based on decades of study based on the federal highway administration it is less safe in their opinion," added Mayor Beutler. 

Along the stretch of 13th street there were a reported 167 traffic collision in the last 5 years, and with the changed design they estimate around 54 of those crashes could have been prevented.

A project like this though doesn’t happen very often in Lincoln.

"In my time this would be the first practice project in the last 4 ½ years or so that I’ve been at the city that we’ve done a conversion I would guess we’ve done more historically 3 lane improvement projects," said Mark Lutjeharms the Traffic Engineer for Lincoln. 

With many young elementary school children running around a big worry is the safety for those kids.

"More importantly we are very concerned what our youth  that are frequently crossing 13th st with 3 elementary schools in such a small area that is highly densely populated very vibrant active community that is on foot on a regular bias and we want to provide safety for them as they try to cross 13th st for their events," said Captain Michon Morrow of Lincoln Police. 

Now the hope to start this project as soon as possible, and for it to be finished around next spring.

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