Crews were working Wednesday to restore power to traffic signals at downtown Omaha intersections.
The outage stemmed from a water main break at 16th and Douglas Streets, said Jeff Riesselman, head of the traffic division at the City of Omaha’s Public Works Department. When workers with the Metropolitan Utilities District were working on the repairs Tuesday afternoon, they cut into an Omaha Public Power District network line, which caused a fire, Riesselman said.
When OPPD crews arrived at the site, they discovered damage to underground lines, too, said OPPD spokeswoman Jodi Baker.
Baker said the damage will take some time to repair — possibly through the evening. OPPD teams are working with the City of Omaha to set up generators for the traffic signals, she said.
In place of the traffic lights, temporary stop signs were set up at the Douglas Street intersections with 14th, 15th and 16th Streets, and at 16th and Dodge Streets, Riesselman said.
Omaha’s 10 busiest intersections
Omaha's 10 busiest intersections
10) 72nd and Grover
2016 rank: 9 2018 vehicles per day: 64,000 Traffic trend: Dropping
This intersection, just north of Interstate 80, saw its traffic numbers dip over the two years. But the totals are up significantly from 2014, when it ranked as the region’s 40th busiest intersection.
9) 108th and Maple
2016 rank: 14 2018 vehicles per day: 65,100 Traffic trend: Growing
The 108th Street and West Maple Road intersection is a gateway to and from the Interstate. It draws 16,300 more vehicles a day than the 120th and West Maple intersection.
8) 86th Street/Cass Street and Dodge
2016 rank: 8 2018 vehicles per day: 65,900 Traffic trend: Decreasing, too
This one held its place as the eighth-busiest intersection.
7) 78th and Dodge
2016 rank: 5 2018 vehicles per day: 66,200 Traffic trend: Decreasing
Traffic counts are down through the stretch of Dodge Street east of Omaha’s busiest intersection and through intersections including 86th, 84th, 78th, 72nd and 69th Streets. It’s still Dodge Street — they’re still busy intersections. Just not as busy.
6) 144th and Industrial Road
2016 rank: 26 2018 vehicles per day: 69,150 Traffic trend: Increasing greatly
Traffic at this intersection backs up often, and its counts grew by 14,450 in the two-year period.
5) 72nd and Pacific
2016 rank: 3 2018 vehicles per day: 72,300 Traffic trend: Dropping, too
The 72nd and Pacific intersection ranked third but now is fifth.
4) 72nd and Dodge
2016 rank: 2 2018 vehicles per day: 75,850 Traffic trend: Dropping
The 72nd and Dodge Street intersection is still a busy one. But the numbers show that traffic there has dropped a bit in the past few years. In 2016, it ranked as Omaha’s second-busiest intersection. With the daily vehicle total dropping by 7,750 — and with southwest Omaha traffic picking up — 72nd and Dodge fell a couple of spots.
3) 132nd and L/Industrial Road
2016 rank: 7 2018 vehicles per day: 84,250 Traffic trend: Increasing a lot
The 132nd and L Street/Industrial Road intersection isn’t far behind its counterpart a mile east at 120th and L, seeing just 500 fewer vehicles per day. But its increase is greater — growing by 13,500 vehicles a day in the two-year period. It draws a lot of traffic from Millard, and Sarpy County beyond that, along with traffic from west Omaha and the West Center Road corridor. In 2013, the Streetsblog website named it the Worst Intersection in America for the trouble it poses pedestrians.
2) 120th and L
2016 rank: 4 2018 vehicles per day: 84,750 Traffic trend: Increasing a lot
A several-mile stretch of L Street/Industrial Road -- including the 132nd and 144th Street intersections -- is drawing a lot more traffic. Traffic at 120th and L Street grew by 10,200 vehicles a day over the two-year period, according to MAPA’s numbers. That’s a nearly 14% increase. It’s an important corridor through southwest Omaha. At 120th Street, the intersection is essentially a gateway and exit point for Interstates 80 and 680.
1) 90th and Dodge
2016 rank: 1 2018 vehicles per day: 106,900 Traffic trend: Growing
This is Omaha’s busiest intersection, as it has been since construction of the elevated West Dodge Expressway, which addressed traffic backups at 114th Street and West Dodge Road. When that $100 million project happened, it was expected that the busiest intersection would shift down Dodge to 90th Street. It has — 90th Street and West Dodge Road now has more traffic than 114th and West Dodge did before construction of the elevated expressway.