Mayor Don Wesely today endorsed the recommendation of two city departments that the proposed middle route is the best one for the east beltway to follow. The City-County Planning Department and the City Public Works and Utilities Department evaluated three routes and recommended the middle route that runs for about 13 miles from Highway 2 to Interstate 80 halfway between 120th and 134th streets.
"The departments have done an excellent job of involving the public in a thorough evaluation of the three proposed routes," said Mayor Wesely. "I believe the middle route is the best choice for traffic, utilities, existing residences and trails and for protecting the natural environment and historic sites in the Stevens Creek area."
The Mayor also endorsed the recommendation for the south beltway route, which runs for about 8 miles from Highway 77 to Highway 2 about half a mile south of Saltillo Road.
The City-County Planning Commission will hold public hearings on the beltways at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 11 and 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 18. Both hearings are in the City Council Chambers. The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote at its meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 25. The beltway proposal then goes to the City Council and County Board, which will hold joint public hearings at 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 15 at the Cornhusker Hotel and 3 p.m. Wednesday, August 22 in the City Council Chambers. The City Council and County Board are scheduled to take action on the proposal at a 7 p.m. meeting August 22nd.
No timetable has been set for construction of the beltways, although city officials recommend the south beltway be built first. The cost of completing both beltways is estimated at about $250 million.
"With approval by the local elected leaders, we will be in a position to seek federal funding for these very important projects, which will have a major impact on reducing the growth of traffic on our city streets," Wesely said.