Omaha, NE – The new pedestrian bridge and trail in Valley was officially opened today by the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (Papio NRD), the City of Valley, DC West Community Schools, the YMCA of Greater Omaha, and other neighborhood partners.
The 450-foot pedestrian bridge and trail offer Valley residents a crucial community connection point that enhances safety, leisure, and active transportation.
According to Eric Williams, natural resources planner for the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, the pedestrian bridge spans both East Reichmuth Road (formerly Highway 275) and the Union Pacific Railroad rails. “The City of Valley sought a solution to ‘bridge the gaps’ between the main areas of the neighborhood, specifically a secure path that would stop children from directly crossing the rail lines or using the overpass to cross the highway. These safety features as well as more leisure options are provided by the bridge and trail. Therefore, Valley residents have won twice, Williams added.
According to Valley Mayor Cindy Grove, “The City of Valley is tremendously thrilled to have the trail and bridge finally open.” The people have been looking forward to the opening for a number of years. The community has long needed a safe route for residents to bike and stroll between the YMCA, the school, and the south side of the neighborhood.
The initiative, according to Williams, is a superb illustration of the effectiveness of community cooperation and came at no cost to Valley tax payers. The pedestrian bridge and trail will cost roughly $7 million to build; most of the money will come from federal transportation financing, with the Papio NRD contributing the remaining funds.
Dr. Melissa Poloncic, the superintendent of DC West Schools, said, “I am entering my ninth year as superintendent and this is a project that was in development when I arrived. “It is truly great for our town to watch this massive project coming together at last!”
Rebecca Deterding, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Greater Omaha, stated, “We are very pleased about the completion of the route and the impact it will have. The increase in accessibility and cooperation between the YMCA, the school, and the community has been eagerly anticipated.