Destructive Construction

Whirlwind of work consumes campus until Oct.

Mile long traffic jams, orange cones lining the streets, and the smell of modernization is all too familiar for the students of MN. This gridlock has been a hassle for everybody involved, and it is only getting started.

Although MN and MPS as a whole took part in the planning, a lot of it was done through the City of Omaha and over 20 utility companies that have an impact on this project. The MPS and MN concerns were taken into account.

For junior Miranda Kaffenberger, the end of the project can’t come soon enough..

“I hope it’s finished soon so I can wake up later and not be 30 minutes late,” Kaffenberger said. “All of the traffic, and nobody moves. It’s frustrating.”

The frustration with the inability to turn left on Pacific from the south entrance to school and turning right from 144th Street is a prevalent hoop every student and staff member jumps through daily.

“A day doesn’t go by where I don’t have to spend significant amounts of time dealing with construction related issues,” Principal Brian Begley said.

Now, the Omaha Police Department has posted officers to direct traffic during the peak hours so it runs more smoothly. When the officers are present, the left turn onto Pacific is available.

“I’m hoping that the worst is behind us. Posting OPD at the entrances has helped tremendously, it makes everything smoother,” Begley said.

In the coming months, in Phase 4 of the construction, 144th Street will be widened from four lanes to six lanes.

Phase 5 is set to begin this summer. To finish out the entire project, Phase 6 will include the widening of 144th Street between MN and Dodge.

Applied Boulevard, which is near St. Wenceslaus, and Dewey Ave, which runs just West of campus, is planned to be open to MN in the fall, giving students and staff a fresh route and easier way to get to school.

“These new roads will give a new ‘ring’ around MN, and it will be vastly improve access to MN,” Begley said.

General Manager of Support Services for MPS Steve Mainelli says that the shops and new access points won’t be the most exciting thing for him.

“The most exciting part [about this project] is knowing that the end result will be beneficial to all of us,” Mainelli said.

For MN itself, there is work scheduled for inside the building. This summer, there will be a new ceiling installed in the auditorium, as well as a new gym floor with logos to match the brand new scoreboards the school has just received this year.

In total, all of the construction will take 3-5 years.

The street work close to MN is projected to be finished in the fall, just in time for the new school year. Although traffic comes to a halt every morning and afternoon, the work continues on, and the end will be beneficial to everyone involved.