The reshaping of Fort Crook Road as a bicycle-friendly boulevard will be celebrated Monday with an inaugural bike ride.
Named the “Kick-Off Bike Ride,” the event will begin with a ribbon cutting at 6:30 p.m.
The ride is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
The 10-mile ride will be led by Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders and will begin in the parking lot of Marathon Ventures, which sits beside the No Frills supermarket on Fort Crook Road.
City crews spent the past two weeks grinding and restriping one outer lane either side of Fort Crook Road, reducing the six-lane road to four lanes for vehicular traffic while creating two lanes for bicycles.
The bicycle lanes are part of a long-term vision for the redevelopment of Fort Crook Road designed to attract new businesses to an area that allows their employees to ride bicycles to work.
The striping, which was approved by city officials 18 months ago, creates a bicycle trail stretching from Capehart Road to downtown Omaha. The project was proposed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, which had federal funds available, and was backed by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and the Bellevue City Council.
The effort has also been endorsed by Bellevue’s Complete Streets Committee, which seeks to make the city friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians.
The project cost is estimated at $270,000, with Bellevue’s share being $53,000.
Private contributions were received from area businesses, which lowered the city’s cost to approximately $40,000.
Bellevue Police Investigator Laurie Synowiecki, the department’s spokeswoman, said state law does not require bicyclists to wear helmets but that all other traffic regulations apply, including riding in the same direction as vehicular traffic.
Fort Crook Road was U.S. Highway 75 before that designation was transferred to the Kennedy Freeway.
Opened Dec. 8, 1941, the road was the first four-lane divided highway in the state and was built to connect South Omaha to Offutt Air Force Base.