In an effort to improve safety and traffic flow, new traffic signals and stop signs now adorn some of the major thoroughfares around Springfield.
Temporary traffic lights were added to the intersection at Highway 50 and Platteview Road in late July. On Aug. 16, stop signs were placed along 84th Street near Platteview Road, making the intersection a 3-way stop.
Drew Parks, a project development engineer with District 2 of the Nebraska Department of Transportation, said analysis showed a traffic signal was needed at Highway 50 and Platteview Road.
“Through our observations, we noticed increased traffic through that intersection and after that analysis, as well as getting public information, we thought it justified having a signal,” Parks said.
Springfield Mayor Bob Roseland said there has already been a noticeable difference with the traffic flow at the intersection.
“I think we all agreed this was long overdue,” Roseland said. “I think you’ve seen a complete turnaround. There’s not the frustration people had before and you’re seeing a lot more flow and less backup.”
Roseland said with increased traffic along Highway 50, the time for a signal was overdue.
“I think all the traffic from the flood sped up the process,” he said. “With all the development around there and with Facebook and those people wanting to come into town and eat or buy something, this was really needed.”
A temporary trailer with lights was put in place prior to the Sarpy County Fair. That has since been replaced by wooden poles. Parks said there are message boards entering the intersection from all directions to alert drivers and the NDOT is working to install advance warning yellow lights. Parks added there are no plans to change the speed limits on either road.
Parks said there may be a need for a more permanent solution at the intersection and that process could involve widening out the intersection and putting in turning lanes.
“We have a project that would be a more permanent signal installed within the next couple of years,” he said. “That would require us acquiring a small amount of property to widen out turn lanes and replace some pavement.”
Earlier this month, the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners voted to put stop signs coming from both directions along 84th Street at Platteview. Previously, only traffic coming off of Platteview Road was required to stop.
While drivers continue to get used to the new signs, Roseland believes change was necessary as traffic continues to increase.
“When you look at all the major developments taking place, Platteview Road is going to be a major artery sooner than later,” Roseland said. “This is a good start.”
The County Board went through much deliberation before making what they believed were necessary changes.
“As we look at ways to improve traffic flow and safety all along Platteview, adding the stop signs at this intersection is an important first step,” County Commissioner Jim Warren said. “Platteview Road is a major farm-to-market road in Sarpy County, and it’s also a vital east-west link for commuters. As the county grows, more and more drivers will use it, so we’re taking steps now to plan for the roadway’s ultimate design.”
Megan Stubenhofer-Barrett, Sarpy County communications manager, said the county will add rumble bars sometime in the next week, weather permitting. The county is also waiting on a report from Olsson Associates about what potential solutions could be implemented next year, whether it be a roundabout or adding traffic signals.
The board also approved lowering the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph on Platteview Road from 132nd Street to 84th Street, as well as on 84th Street from Platteview Road to Capehart Road. New speed limit signs were put in place Tuesday.
“Commissioners, county administration and Sheriff’s Office representatives met with Springfield Platteview (Community) Schools,” said board chairman Don Kelly. “We listened to their concerns and made the appropriate speed reductions.”