The selection committee reviewing proposed designs for the intersections of 14th Street, Warlick Boulevard and Old Cheney Road has decided to take more time to evaluate the alternatives. Three traffic engineering firms participating in the City’s first intersection design competition unveiled their plans to improve traffic and safety flow in the area November 15, and the committee had planned to make a recommendation by the end of December.

“The unusual configuration of the intersections presents challenges, and we are pleased that the competition has produced three excellent alternatives,” said Miki Esposito, Director of the City Public Works and Utilities Department. “The selection committee has determined that it needs more time to verify the information provided by the competing firms and to examine the details of the proposals in greater depth to ensure that we forward the wisest long-term solution to Mayor Beutler. Our goal is to have an intersection that serves as an attractive and safe gateway into the City.”

Esposito said each proposal will be measured against the City’s eight categories of design criteria. The committee also is considering the public comments received as well as the cost, service life, long-term traffic efficiency and break-even costs in terms of time and fuel savings for motorists.

Esposito said a recommendation to the Mayor is expected within the next few months and is likely to include modifications to the proposed alternatives. Final design work is fully funded and is expected to begin this year. Construction would start in 2014 with utility relocation work. The project will be funded through wheel taxes and impact fees.

Esposito said the City remains committed to the South Beltway, a project that would be built primarily with state and federal funds. But she said continued growth in southwest Lincoln makes the intersection project very important. “Existing conditions and long-range traffic analysis show that improvements to these intersections are vitally necessary with or without the completion of the South Beltway,” she said.