Yankee Hill Road Construction, 81st to 91st Streets

Lincoln, Nebraska

Growth in south Lincoln created the need for an improved east-west arterial that could expand to meet future traffic needs. The goal was to widen Yankee Hill Road between 70th and 91st streets and create a new connection to Nebraska Highway 2. When the project began, this section of Yankee Hill Road was a two-lane gravel country road.

Olsson was hired through competitive selection to develop final design plans to improve Yankee Hill Road from 81st to 91st streets. Our design goals included enhancing safety, increasing capacity, minimizing right-of-way impacts, providing cost-effective solutions, enhancing multimodal opportunities, incorporating sustainable elements, and meeting the city’s compressed project schedule.

We recommended a “suburban” roadway section because it offered the highest benefit-to-cost ratio and will allow for easy expansion to a four-lane divided roadway. The suburban section is a lane and a half with raised median, no curb and gutter, and it incorporates drainage swales or an open ditch. The design also called for six roundabouts (our project included three) at approximately quarter-mile spacings to improve safety while increasing traffic capacity.

Roundabouts were used exclusively for intersection control along this corridor. They minimize vehicle contact points and reduce speeds, which lessens the severity of collisions to both drivers and pedestrians.

We also designed a 10-foot bicycle/pedestrian trail along Yankee Hill Road to provide a safer route to a new middle school and YMCA that is located along the corridor.

During the design and construction phases, a nearby middle school/YMCA was being built along the Yankee Hill Road corridor, and the timeline was tight. Work on the roadway project was closely coordinated with the construction of the new school/YMCA to ensure that both projects would be completed in August 2017.  

We worked closely with the City of Lincoln’s Public Works department and key stakeholders (such as local utilities, Lincoln Public Schools, Omaha Public Power District, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and developers) to create a design solution that would minimize impact along this 1.7-mile corridor.

We conducted an environmental study along the corridor to identify environmental aspects that may be impacted by the project. Several wetland areas were identified along the project corridor and we coordinated with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to obtain the necessary permits.

This project was completed on schedule and it meets the traffic needs of this growing area.


Tom Leikam

Lincoln, Nebraska


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