Dodge construction delays daily commute

Photo by Evan Ludes/ The Gateway Construction on Dodge impacts students and downtown workers
Photo by Evan Ludes/ The Gateway
Construction on Dodge impacts students and downtown workers

By Andrew Aulner, Contributor

We’ve all been down this road, driving at 45 mph when suddenly, a flashing yellow arrow orders all drivers to move one lane over as they pass construction. This makes what would normally be a speedy drive through one of Omaha’s busiest thoroughfares, Dodge Street, an anxious trek past orange traffic cones and loud surfacing machines.
Dodge Street, which connects downtown Omaha with the west side of town and serves as the dividing point between North and South Omaha, is vital to the commute of many University of Nebraska at Omaha students, such as myself.
Normally, students can drive at speeds between 40 mph and 65 mph, depending on which part of the street they are traveling. However, thanks to the extensive resurfacing of the rightmost lanes of Dodge Street between 102nd and 84th Streets, including both eastbound and westbound sides of the road, traffic has been slowed to speeds one might find in a school zone.
A few mornings have made me want to pull my hair out as traffic speeds dropped to a snail’s pace and everyone was forced to putter along. I am not alone in my frustrations.
“It’s terrible,” freshman Blake Ladwig said. “It gives me plenty of quality time to listen to the radio, [time] that I don’t want.”
Fortunately, the resurfacing of this particular stretch of Dodge Street, a phase that began on Sept. 15 and forms part of a larger resurfacing project that started during the summer, is expected to be completed within four weeks, according to the City of Omaha website
While traffic delays can be stressful for students, particularly during rush hour in the morning and afternoons, it is important to remember that they are caused by construction that is replacing old surfaces with new, pothole-free surfaces. Hopefully, the post-resurfacing Dodge Street will provide a much smoother ride for students.