The Lincoln City Council voted NO Monday on delaying construction of an elevated roundabout at 14th and Warlick and Old Cheney. Four city council members voted NO on the delay while 3 others voted for it. With Monday’s vote, the project will go forward. The motion would have delayed the project until 2024.
City council member Sandra Washington who voted no on the delay said ” It’s really hard for me to turn away from nineteen years of public discourse, planning and engineering studies and suggest that we can make a new decision on a late day on a project.”
Council member Tammie Ward, who also voted no on the delay, called it a public safety issue, and said that too much money has been invested into the project.
Councilman Bennie Shobe said he believed the re-discussion of the project was healthy, and had been conducted respectfully, but said after all the discussion he was in favor of moving ahead.
Council Chair Jayne Raybould, a strong supporter, said a lot of facts had been “misrepresented” during the delay discussion. “The Southwest part of the City is growing, with or without a beltway” she said. “There have been years of study and research showing that these intersections will see an increase in traffic with or without the South Beltway.”
Councilman Richard Meginnis proposed that the project be delayed in order to study the effect of the Beltway. Meginnis suggested that a reduction in traffic caused by the new four lane bypass would allow a smaller, less costly intersection. He gained the votes of fellow council members Roy Christensen and James Michael Bowers, but his delay motion failed 4-3. During the discussion, Meginnis had also predicted that closing both ends of 14th at the same time would cause access problems.
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