Suburban Scene, Dec. 16 -
Published Monday, December 16, 2013 at 1:30 am / Updated at 10:00 pm
Suburban Scene, Dec. 16

Feds freeze study of road construction through Sarpy

A study to guide construction of a new highway cutting across southern Sarpy County has been frozen for 16 months, and County Board member Tom Richards said the delay will spell trouble once the new Missouri River bridge opens next fall.

“We're going to have trucks sitting at our doorstep in less than a year,” he said. “Something's got to give here pretty quick.”

Sarpy County Public Works Director Dennis Wilson told the County Board that the federal government, which is funding 80 percent of the $160,000 study, ordered the freeze in August 2012 when the county extended the study's scope west from 144th Street to Highway 31 in Gretna.

Wilson said jurisdictions that use federal funding for local projects must deal with federal requirements.

“It's just become such a difficult, arduous task to try and get through the various hoops that the federal government has set up,” Wilson said.

Richards suggested that if federal delays last much longer, the county should end the partnership and pay for the study itself.

But County Administrator Mark Wayne said the county would forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in construction funding if it did not comply with the Federal Highway Administration's directive.

The project would rebuild Platteview Road from Highway 75 at Bellevue to Highway 31 at the west end of the county. It could involve 18 miles of four-lane, divided highway designed to carry truck traffic coming into Sarpy County from Interstate 29 after the Highway 34 bridge opens.

Wilson said the study will yield five alternatives, each with cost estimates, and that the federal government will have the final say over which one is selected.

Board Chairman Jim Warren said the study should have commenced years ago, when it became clear the new Missouri River bridge might become a reality.

“Assuming everything is approved and we get several hundred million dollars for a road project, is it five years out, 10 years out?” he asked. “I don't think you can do it in five.”

Ralston council seeks input on three-animal pet ordinance

The Ralston City Council is seeking input on a proposed ordinance to change the city's pet ownership rules.

The ordinance, which passed a first reading on a 4-2 vote, would allow residents to keep up to three dogs or cats, in any combination. Current rules allow residents to keep three pets, but only in a set combination: up to two cats and one dog, or up to two dogs and one cat.

The issue arose when a new resident realized she wouldn't be able to keep all three of her dogs.

Bellevue delays vote on cat colonies management permit

The Bellevue City Council has delayed a vote on establishing permits for people to manage colonies of wild cats. The council is due to vote Jan. 13.

Councilwoman Kathy Saniuk said some requirements in the proposal might be too stringent, including one requiring a feral cat colony to be reduced by half within two years.

Saniuk said the additional time would allow her to research how other cities have managed the matter.

Ex-Iowan behind landmark free speech case recounts story in Bellevue
Arrest made in teen's shooting death at Benson's Gallagher Park
Section of 50th Street to close for bridge demolition
Nikko Jenkins found guilty of 4 murders
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
Plans for new $16M YMCA in Council Bluffs at 'critical juncture'
Woodmen request would take nearly $40M in valuation from tax rolls
With fixed AC, Fort Calhoun's nuclear station ends brief shutdown
Windy day could make driving difficult on east-west roads
Richard Brown steps down as Charles Drew Health Center CEO
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
OPD safety expo set for April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Crew working to disassemble International Nutrition plant
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
18-year-old arrested in stolen-car case
U.S. Senate candidate Bart McLeay trails his 3 GOP rivals in fundraising
86-year-old Holdrege man killed in weekend collision
New police gang intervention specialist knows firsthand about getting involved with wrong crowd
Finally. Spring expected to return. No, really: Warmer-than-average weather in forecast
Four, including Omahan, vie for police chief position in Council Bluffs
In TV ad, Shane Osborn says Ben Sasse 'beholden to Washington'
City Council OKs redevelopment plan for north downtown project
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Home alone: When burglar broke in, 12-year-old locked herself in bathroom, called 911
< >
Breaking Brad: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Breaking Brad: Pothole repair crew gets stuck in a pothole
In East Lansing, Mich., a pothole repair crew got stuck inside a pothole. How did this not happen in Omaha?
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: What do the moon, Colorado senators have in common?
How about that "blood red" moon Monday? It was as red as the eyes of a Colorado legislator.
Breaking Brad: Hey, Republicans, are you ready to be audited?
A quick list of audit red flags: 3) You fail to sign your return. 2) You fail to report income. 1) You are a registered Republican.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Shoreline Golf Club
$40 for 2 Players, 18 Holes of Golf with Cart ($85 Value)
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »