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Traffic changes in downtown Omaha as crews begin construction on skyscraper

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) – Be prepared to follow signs and dodge orange barrels for at least three years if you have to drive through downtown Omaha.

Work crews are cutting traffic to make way for a construction project that will change Omaha’s skyline.

Building the 677ft Mutual of Omaha Tower will be a big change for a lot of people.

Some of the businesses in the area have been in the construction zone for many years.

The Gene Leahy Mall underwent a complete renovation, then the downtown library was demolished, and now work crews are sealing off 14th Street between Farnam and Douglas Streets.

The lanes on the central streets will be blocked, and traffic will be bypassed. Even cyclists and pedestrians will have to go the other way. And if you’re working downtown around a construction zone, be prepared for a change.

“The hardest part was driving,” says Kelly Paulson, who works downtown. “We already have one-way roads, they block them all, so we try to get around and stuff like that, even on foot. Because you see they’ve blocked all the sidewalks and things like that, so I’m just trying to maneuver.”

Harrison Marsh also works downtown and says the tower work slows down work at his workplace.

“Honestly, the contract they have doesn’t allow us to do the important infrastructure work that we have to do,” Marsh said. “It’s blocking our loading dock, it’s just more headache than I think it’s worth.”

Parking will also be a problem. The East 15th Street Parking Lot between Farnham and Douglas Streets will be closed and this may cause problems for some.

“I expect that to be the case because the garage we use is right there and I mean they move equipment all the time. “I arrive around 6:30 so it won’t be too bad for me, but leaving will be a nightmare.”

On the site of the former W. Dale Clark Library, three years of construction and street closures began.

Some people working in the city center believe that the biggest problem may be the noise that comes with the construction of a 677-foot skyscraper.

“There will be noise, I mean I can work from home if it gets too bad luckily, but I think the noise is really going to interfere with a lot of what we have.”

“I think this might be a safe time to put on your headphones and do your best to deal with it.”

Expect to be involved in construction and traffic modification for at least three years as project leaders expect the Mutual Tower to be completed in 2026.

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