No turn lane prompts Highway 370 meeting
Letters from Gretna business people and city officials have prompted the Nebraska Department of Roads to hold a meeting on the Highway 370 construction project.
The department is set to meet Tuesday to discuss a planned southbound turning lane off of Highway 370 onto Enterprise Drive.
The meeting will include city officials, representatives from the Gretna Chamber of Commerce and Bob McKinney, owner of McKinney's Food Center.
McKinney said he sent letters to the state about the closing of a southbound turning lane onto Enterprise Drive, which he said hurts traffic flow and business.
“They could have done things differently and not destroy my traffic flow,” he said.
Tim Meehan of the Department of Roads said he is aware that the loss of the turning lane is a concern. But he said a turn cannot be constructed now because of the elevation difference between the two lanes.
In the long run, he said, there will be a southbound turn.
Bellevue council OKs study of aging pools
Bellevue's aging swimming pools are getting a comprehensive review.
The Bellevue City Council approved a $26,540 study to be conducted by Larkin Aquatics of Kansas City, Mo. The study comes after City Administrator Dan Berlowitz said the city's five swimming pools are not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
“We are going to have to look at how we are going to change that,” Berlowitz said. “Do we build a new facility, close some facilities? That is a major exposure that, quite frankly, I'm surprised we haven't got nailed on yet.”
The oldest Bellevue pool, Dowding Pool, was built in 1956. The newest, Gilbert Pool, was built in 1980.
Public Works Director Jerry Hare said officials want to devise a multiyear plan of action. Recommendations should be available this summer.
“They'll look at everything,” he said.
Guardians: Bridge will stay relevant
The first person to cross the Missouri River on the Bellevue Bridge did so 60 years ago, and the span's guardians remain confident the toll bridge will provide the same service for years to come.
The bridge opened in 1952, amid fanfare that included the presence of then-U.S. Sen. Richard Nixon of California.
Don Fenster, chairman of the Bellevue Bridge Commission, said the convenience of the Bellevue Bridge in Olde Towne will keep it relevant even after Nebraska and Iowa open the new free bridge near U.S. Highway 75 and Platteview Road in 2014.
“The people who live right across from the bridge are not going to drive 10 miles south to cross a free bridge, and then 10 miles back,” he said.
“The people who live up in this area are still going to use this bridge.”
The bridge currently charges a $1 toll and collected $1.3 million in 2012. The bridge has accumulated a reserve fund of about $4 million, Fenster said.
A 2004 resurfacing of the bridge is expected to last at least until 2024. Underwater inspections, even after the flood of 2011, show the bridge's foundations remain sound.
La Vista police dog to get protective vest
The La Vista Police Department's K-9 dog, a Dutch shepherd named Tar, will receive a protective vest courtesy of Vested Interest in K-9s Inc., a nonprofit that outfits police K-9 units with equipment.
The vest costs about $1,000. The nonprofit raised $55,475, which will purchase 52 vests for dogs in 21 other states.
Tar should receive his vest in April. La Vista's other police dog, Leda, received a protective vest several years ago through another group.
Kim Thomas named to La Vista council
The newest member of the La Vista City Council is a 23-year resident who said he hopes to move the city into its next stage of growth.
Kim Thomas, 57, a financial planner with Prudential Financial, was appointed by Mayor Doug Kindig to fill the seat that became available after Councilwoman Brenda Carlisle was elected to the Sarpy County Board.
— World-Herald News Service