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156th Street barricades and Pacific construction make intersection more dangerous

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — Barricades protect drivers from water main excavations, but the situation has also worsened.

“We had two accidents in a week,” driver John Larsen said. “One guy is turning and an oncoming vehicle just hit him.”

John Larsen lives near 156th and Pacific Streets in West Omaha and photographed both accidents, which he says should prove that the barricades block the view of drivers turning left onto 156th.

“So this guy should sneak in there to try and look around,” Larsen said. “Such small cars, you can’t see around.”

The arrow provided a safe turn for a few seconds, then turned green, creating alarm moments for drivers crossing oncoming traffic. One of them reported the danger to the emergency service.

“The construction site obstructs visibility for vehicles heading north. Thinks it might lead to another accident.

At a nearby shopping center, employees at the Medicina pharmacy say the queue now set is a recipe for injury, if not worse.

“Your car is halfway up and you’re trying to see something, but you can’t see any approaching cars, let alone the sunlight coming in at a certain time,” said Evan Ritzdorf of the pharmacy.

6 On Your Side documented the danger and sent out emails.

An Omaha traffic engineer says he was unaware of the danger of the turn until he was contacted by 6 News. On Tuesday afternoon, city brigades were making changes to the security system.

The left turn lane briefly closed while the city traffic light crew removed the turn arrow and adjusted it. Larsen said he was glad to see the answer.

“We had to do something and hopefully there will be no more accidents,” Larsen said.

The left turn lane is open again and still has the arrow on it, but it turns yellow and then red. No more solid green, which eliminates the blind left turn, leaving too much to chance.

MUD tells 6 News that the plumbing repairs, which require barricades at this intersection, will take about another two weeks. Omaha Public Works will provide the public with more information about the 156th Street Improvement Project at a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Millard North High School.

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