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Omaha is putting up $50 million for the project and will spend $3 million a year for 10-plus years to maintain it. “I think it is going to change our whole downtown,” said Parks Director Brook Bench.

More long-term street closures are planned as construction to transform Gene Leahy Mall continues.

Eighth Street from Douglas to Farnam Streets will close from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday so workers can remove the pedestrian bridge, city officials said.

Then, that section of road will be closed starting Aug. 5 until construction finishes in 2021.

Douglas Street between 10th and 8th Streets also will be closed next month.

Drivers wanting to reach Lewis & Clark Landing, Riverfront Drive or the Lot A parking lot at the CHI Health Center won’t be able to use Farnam Street and should instead use Capitol Avenue, said Kristyna Engdahl, the spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority.

In addition to Gene Leahy Mall construction for the Riverfront Revitalization Project, Heartland of America Park will close sometime this fall, Engdahl said, and is expected to reopen in 2023.

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Alia Conley covers breaking news, crime, crime trends, the Omaha Police Department and initial court hearings. Follow her on Twitter @aliavalentine. Phone: 402-444-1068.

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