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CLOSURES: a necessary evil and indicator SPRING!

March 31st, 2017 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Commuting, Trails

There’s going to be a LOT of construction this summer; these very necessary repairs will affect trail, bridge, and other bikeway connections. We’ll continue with updates as we hear them.

We’ve worked hard to foster relationships with parks, planning, and engineering staff throughout the metro area to better understand how and these improvement will affect you on your bike. Here’s what we have so far: (we’ll continue to post updates as this changes)

Veteran’s Memorial Bridge – South Omaha to Council Bluffs (US 275)

Sidpath on the bridge will be closed for phase 1 of this project until this fall (estimated early September). Phase 1 preservation work will close the outside lanes of the US-275 South Omaha Veterans Bridge beginning on Monday, April 3 at 9:00 a.m. These lane closures are necessary to apply a protective coating to the steel truss and apply epoxy polymer overlay to the bridge deck surface. The bridge will be closed to all pedestrian traffic. Phase 2 work will close the inside lanes of the bridge. All work is anticipated to be completed this fall.

Keystone Trail Underpass at Maple (NE-64)

Nebraska Department of Roads release shows work will begin as soon as April 3rd, 2017. The Keystone Trail where it crosses under West Maple Road could see periodic closures starting on Tuesday, April 4th and going through the end of May.  The Nebraska Department of Roads will be undertaking additional work on the bridge.  Trail users can get off at West maple Road and cross the street at Keystone Drive at the traffic signal.

West Papio Trail at West Center Road (US 275/NE 92)

West Papio Trail at West Center Road will be closed starting on Monday, April 4th through the end of June.  The Omaha Public Works Department will be replacing a large storm drainage pipe that passes under the trail just north of West Center Road.  Trail will be closed at S. 156th Street on the south side of West Center Road and at Gold Circle on the north side of West Center Road.  A possible detour when heading north is to get off the trail at S. 156th Street, turn west onto  West Center Road, turn north onto S. 160th Street, turn east onto Dorcas Circle and take the 5 foot wide walk to the trail.  When heading south just reverse everything.


Trail Closure planned for Bellevue Loop Trail 11/9 to 11/23

November 9th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Trails | Tags: , , , ,

From Papio NRD:


News Release
November 9, 2016

Contact:  Martin Cleveland, NRD Construction Engineer
Office Phone 402-315-1707                             

Temporary Trail Closure planned for Bellevue Loop Trail

Sewer repair activity by the City of Omaha will cause a temporary closure of the Bellevue Loop Trail, along the Papillion Creek between Capehart Road and Highway 75 in Sarpy County, from November 9th through November 23rd. There is no planned detour for the closure.

Big Papio Trail Closure – “F” to South 72nd Street

November 7th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Trails | Tags: , , ,

Please see below from Omaha Parks and Recreation Department:

Big Papio Trail Closure – “F” to South 72nd Street

Omaha, NE, November 7, 2016- A section of the Big Papio Trail from “F” street to South 72nd Street will be closed for drainage and erosion improvements starting Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The trail will remain closed for approximately three weeks, reopening around November 30, 2016. There is no detour posted for this trail closure.

For additional information, contact Zach Nelson at the Papio Missouri River Natural Resources District at 402-444-6222 or Dennis E. Bryers, FASLA, PLA at the City of Omaha Parks, Recreation & Public Property Department at 402-444-3798.


Closure: West Papio Trail between 96th & Giles

October 27th, 2016 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Trails | Tags: , ,

FROM PAPIO NRD regarding West Papio Trail Closure

October 26, 2016

Contact:  Martin Cleveland, NRD Construction Engineer
Office Phone 402-315-1707

Temporary Closure planned for West Papio Trail

The West Papio Trail along the West Branch Papillion Creek will be closed October 27th and reopen November 2nd due to creek channel repair.

The closed area is between 96th Street and Giles Road. The Papio-Missouri River NRD is completing creek bank repair work that will include temporary placement of soil over the trail at that location.


October 2016 Trail Updates

October 5th, 2016 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Advocacy, Bike Route, Keystone Connector, Trails

South Omaha Trail:

Final stages of work continue to complete the South Omaha Trail. While the pavement is completed, the signage and erosion control is still in progress. Due to the construction equipment and debris hazards, the newest section trail remains closed for the time being. Please respect the work being done for your own safety! All work is planned to be completed by October 31st, 2016, and the grand opening/ribbon-cutting will be in mid-November! Stay tuned!

Omaha Riverfront Trail:

A section of the Riverfront Trail from Ida Street and Crown Point Avenue to John J. Pershing Drive will be closed to all trail users starting on Monday, October 10, 2016.  The closure will remain closed throughMonday, October 31, 2016.  Trail shall be closed for work occurring on the levee.  There is no suggested detour for this trail closure.

Keystone Trail:

Drainage work at L Street underpass nearing complete and is expected to be completed next week.  Please use caution!

Big Papio Trail:

Drainage work will begin at L Street in early November and will last several weeks.  Please be prepared to detour as needed and use caution!



If you have any questions or concerns about trail closures, contact information is as follows:

City of Omaha:

City of Bellevue, report here


Sarpy County, report  here

City of Council Bluffs report here.


The above update is accurate to the best of our ability, but please see contact local officials for most current information.

September Trail Updates

September 6th, 2016 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Trails


September 2, 2016 (Omaha, NE) – A section of the Riverfront Trail at the MUD Water

Treatment Facility on John J. Pershing Drive will be closed starting on Wednesday,

September 7th through Friday, September 30th so that MUD can undertake a project

related to their NDEQ discharge permit. There is no suggested detour for this

closing. Please refer to the below map for additional information.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 8.45.03 AM



The section of the South Omaha Trail between S. 45th & Dayton Streets and S. 50th Street was suppose to open up Friday, September 2nd.  Unfortunately the work to regrade the swale to keep water off of the trail is not complete.  Park Maintenance will be working next week to finish the improvements.  So this section of the South Omaha Trail will remain closed through Friday, September 9th.


Omaha Parks Trail Update

September 2nd, 2016 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Trails
KEYSTONE TRAIL AT “L” STREET CLOSURE - This work was suppose to begin back on August 24th.  However the weather that week delayed the start of the work.  The revised schedule is to start the work on Tuesday, September 6th and have it completed by Tuesday, September 27th.  The Keystone Trail will be closed at the “L” Street underpass during this time.  There is no detour posted for this closure. We are in the process of getting a new press release out on this.  Revised Map below:
Keystone Trail - Closure-REVISED-2016-09-01
SOUTH OMAHA TRAIL PHASE 2 – “D” STREET TO S. 45TH & DAYTON STREETS – UNDERCONSTRUCTION - This is the section of the Phase 2 portion of the South Omaha Trail that goes under the S. 42nd Street Bridge.  The contractor has reported that there are a number of bikers that are ignoring signs, construction fencing and barricades and riding/walking through this section.  This is a safety issue.  There still is a lot of construction going on here.  There are excavators moving dirt, retaining walls being constructed, fencing going up, etc.  Would appreciate it if you could pass the word on that this section is still underconstruction and closed to trail users.  It is for everyone’s safety that people stay away from this section.  We’ve already had bicycle tire tracks left in newly poured concrete that we will have to redo..  Please pass the word to people to stay away from this section.  It will be completed in about a month or so and then they can use it safely.
South Omaha Trail-Phase2-Underconstruction-2016-09-01

More closures and the same responses

August 23rd, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Advocacy, Trails

Howdy, folks! Well, we have two more closures to report (one belated again, sorry!) as well as an advocacy update about the detours and reroute options! (Spoiler alert: it didn’t get far.)

First, the South Omaha Trail closure from City of Omaha Parks:

A section of the South Omaha Trail from S. 50th Street to S. 45th & Dayton Streets will be closed starting Monday, August 22nd through Friday, September 2nd so the Parks & Recreation Department can address drainage issues along this section of the trail. There is a suggested detour using existing sidewalks along city streets. Refer to the attached map below for additional information.”

City of Omaha’s suggested detour via existing sidewalks

Keystone Trail Closure (also from City of Omaha Parks):

“A section of the Keystone Trail at the “L” Street Underpass will be closed starting Wednesday, August 24th through Wednesday, September 14th so that the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District can address drainage and erosion issues at this section of the trail. There is no suggested detour for this closing. Refer to the attached map below for additional information.”

Trail Closure Notices-South Omaha Trail-Keystone Trail-August-2016

Trail Closure Detour Advocacy Update #2:

Upon receiving this notification, I was on the phone with Dennis Bryers with city parks within hours. We had a very promising and engaging conversation about the complications of temporary detours (or lack thereof being an unacceptable long-term solution) as well as all the entities involved. I briefly mentioned the lowering speed limits on the South O Trail detour as well as using a temporary signal for Keystone Trail closure at L Street. As L Street is a state hwy, Dennis informed me that Nebraska Deparment of Roads (NDOR) would need to be involved. Having just learned from a fellow colleague that NDOR has a Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator, I decided to give him a call.

David is a fantastic person who listened intently to my concerns. He offered to connect with Dennis and discuss the options and explained that a traffic engineer would need to be consulted. I was excited! Did I just get a win with NDOR?

I proposed the following solutions:

South O: Knowing that many riders would review the proposed sidewalk detour, I was afraid they would choose to ride 50th and F Streets with drivers passing exceeding the 35mph speed limit on roads with no shoulder or safety measures for bicycle traffic. With a two-way protected bike line not a valid option of F Street, simply suggested that the speed limit be lowered to 25mph during the closure to increase rider safety and comfort on the roadway. (Not to mention that pedestrians and cyclists have a 90 percent survival rate if hit at 20 mph or below, but that rate drops to 50 percent at 30 mph or above.)

Late Friday, I received a reply in response to my suggestions. Disheartened, I read the response that lowering the speed limit is usually not effective. Regarding the Keystone Trail, that the types of temporary changes I am suggesting would require an unjustified expense of a traffic study as well as not supporting all user groups.

I spent the weekend contemplating action and response while riding 145 miles at Gravel Worlds this weekend. I apologize for the delay in getting this out, but I hadn’t fully thought through this.

Although new solutions are in the works as the City Planning Department develops guidelines for closures on bike routes, this should not be the answer now.

Ultimately, the detours (or lack thereof) are the best solutions given the current surrounding bike/ped infrastructure. These roads were designed for motor vehicles and are not the complete streets we want for our city. Changes are coming.

In the meantime, let’s keep doing what we do best; keep riding and be safe!

Please feel free to comment if you find a good detour route!

Keystone Trail Closure & Lessons Learned

August 18th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Advocacy, Trails

When I saw a Live Well Nebraska link that the Keystone had a closure pop up in my Facebook news feed last Friday, I thought to myself, “I need to get on that.”

I read about the 5 day closure from Harrison Street to Cornhusker Road from Monday August 15th through August 19th. In my only mildly caffeinated morning daze, I just read ‘bridge deck and replacement’ and assumed it meant the bridge over Copper Creek (a City of Omaha project not started yet) even though it is clearly stated that this is the road bridge west of 48th St.

I created a reroute to the nearby Bellevue neighborhood, asked a colleague at NRD to verify the route would be open at the access points in the route, then contacted Bellevue Public Works to set up temporary protected bike lane on a section of 48th Street. Boom!

Copper Creek Detour

Copper Creek Detour

After a conversation with a colleague, it turns out I was totally wrong about where this project was. It’s a Sarpy County project to resurface the road bridge on Cornhusker, and Papio NRD opted to close this section of the trail due to possible falling debris during construction. Whoops, swing and a miss!

In all of the craziness of life (in and out of work), I totally forgot to post about it. After a brief Facebook interaction on Mode Shift Omaha‘s Facebook page on Monday, I realized this.  Completely distracted by a grant proposal that was due that day, I attempted to email Sarpy to engage them on the best way to detour around this.  The response I received was positive, both of us acknowledging it was  a little late in the game to do much.

All of this got me thinking that there has to be a better way. While we don’t need to have a dedicated bike lane for every closed road on popular bike routes, our local municipalities do need to consider the socio-economic impact of closing access for bicycles.  What someone lost his/her job for being late due to no legitimate detour? There’s zero bus service from Metro Transit there.

A bit of a grey area...

A bit of a grey area…

Sure, a flat tire can delay you by 10-15 minutes, but finding a new route can be stressful and/or put you on dangerous roads like nearby Cornhusker. The reroutes for this would delay riders by 10-20 minutes or more, and that’s assuming they have access to a smart phone.

Just for fun, let’s say you’re a teacher at G Stanley Hall Elementary School, and you live near Twin Creek. You’d likely catch the West Papio at Raynor Parkway, head north to Harrison, use sidepath and school route to get to work, avoiding most busy streets.

With this closure, you would find the trail closed at Cornhusker. You’d have to back track or brave 45mph on a poor shoulder. Even if you took the came back south and West Papio combined with neighborhood streets, you’d have 72nd to deal with, likely having to take to the sidewalk for safety.

Mind the Gap!

Mind the Gap!

All joking aside, I learned all the people I spoke with were kind and helpful, and they all plan to keep in communication with Omaha Bikes as future projects affect bike routes! Advocacy in action!

If you know of any closures that affect your route and and to share you planned detour, let us know, and we’ll post your suggested route.

Be safe out there!

Wet/Slippery Area on South O Trail

August 10th, 2016 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Trails

Please be careful out there! There is a section to the east of 50th Street that is wet and slippery. Please slow down and use caution.

City of Omaha Parks and Recreation will be placing temporary signage soon until the long-term fix can be addressed later this year. Please see map below for approximate location.

South Omaha Trail - Wet Slippery Section-2016-08-10

Omaha Bikes
1516 Cuming Street | Omaha, NE 68102

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