In preparation for this project to widen 168th Street due to insufficient roadway capacity, substandard bridge conditions, discontinuity with adjacent roadways and intersections and inadequate pedestrian facilities, the City selected Benesch to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA).
The majority of the 168th Street study area consists of residential and commercial areas and also passes through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dam Site 18, which includes Zorinsky Lake and Edward Zorinsky Recreation Area. The 168th Street embankment divides Zorinsky Lake into east and west basins. Further complicating matters is the fact that Dam Site 18 is a Section 4(f) property.
Project components were subsequently evaluated for impacts to recreational resources, including the park and trails around the lake, passive recreation lands and the lake itself. Important components of the EA were wetlands, Section 4(f), public involvement, pedestrian accommodations, traffic operations, trails and residential impacts. Coordination was also required between the City and the Corps of Engineers, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office.
The ultimate solution devised by Benesch and Infrastructure was a compromise of reusing part of the existing bridge, rehabilitating the deck, widening and raising the piers and abutments, shifting the utility lines and obtaining a design exception from NDOT for trail clearance. The solution resulted in improved clearance, a trail and sidewalk on the bridge and only approximately 11,000 cubic yards of fill material, minimized via retaining walls.