Motorists on 84th Street may notice a smoother commute later this year or early next year.
The cities of Omaha, Ralston, La Vista and Papillion, along with the Nebraska Department of Transportation, are adding adaptive signal control technology to traffic signals on 84th Street between West Center Road in Omaha and Lincoln Street in Papillion.
The technology will use sensors that collect data to continually adjust the intervals of lights based on traffic demand, with the ultimate goal of reducing congestion.
Omaha will be the lead agency and operate the software. Bryan Guy, Omaha's assistant city traffic engineer, said construction of the new equipment is underway and should be done this summer. He said the software will be installed by the end of the year.
Guy said the technology will help Omaha maximize its traffic system. The 84th Street corridor will be the second in the city's system to have the adaptive technology, after Dodge Street/ West Dodge Road between 69th and 93rd Streets.
"It's hard to say how much drivers will notice it," he said. "The goal is to make your commute a little smoother, even if you save a few seconds."
The new system will also include visual and safety changes like flashing yellow turn arrows, which have been installed in areas of 72nd, Q and L Streets.
The project will cost $3.9 million, the majority of which will come from federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds, according to a memorandum of understanding among the five government entities.
The remaining 10% will come from local matches: $132,534 from Omaha, $102,876 from the State Transportation Department, $33,009 from Ralston, $57,939 from La Vista and $63,220 from Papillion.
Each of the cities will also be responsible for paying its share of operational costs after the Transportation Department relinquishes the Highway 85 designation of the stretch between L Street and Highway 370.
Those costs will be $1,000 per intersection. Ralston's share of operational costs will be $3,500, La Vista's will be $6,000 and Papillion's will be $7,000.
The Transportation Department is planning negotiations with Papillion, Ralston and Omaha that will relinquish control of the corridor in those cities. The Transportation Department has already relinquished control of the La Vista portion of the corridor.
Ralston wanted to add a protected left turn phase at Q Street to make it easier to get drivers into downtown, but one will not be added, according to a letter from Guy to Ralston Public Works Director Dan Freshman and the city.
Papillion and La Vista did not have any special requests, and they and Ralston approved the agreement in April and May.