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Omaha receives $2 million grant for UNMC walking trails

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – University of Nebraska Medical Center and Omaha officials provided an update Friday on a planned bicyclist and pedestrian overpass over Saddle Creek Road.

The city recently received $2 million in federal funding from the Department of Transportation.

The money will be added to a federal grant Omaha received last year, as well as funding from UNMC to support not only the path over Saddle Creek, but another over Leavenworth Street.

“Both are very busy city streets,” Chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Gold said. “So it’s really important to have safe, elevated connections for pedestrians and cyclists across the streets.”

There’s a lot of construction going on along Saddle Creek right now, and not all of it is city work to widen the street.

“Also, what we call the Catalyst facility, which is a technology transfer innovation facility, is quickly getting off the ground,” Gold said. “The CORE building, which is the operations and research center, the site is ready right now.”

He said the walkways will connect to these wells.

“Having interconnectivity for pedestrians and cyclists will be extremely important for our faculty and staff, for visitors, for students.”

Rep. Don Bacon was a big proponent of bringing in federal dollars for this effort.

“My goal is to—when it comes to federal funding coming to Omaha and the Omaha area—is to fund things that support as many people as possible,” Bacon said. “If I can do something that improves public safety, then it will go up in my ranking. That’s what we did here.”

UNMC aims to start construction this summer and has said it will take two to three years.

Gold said UNMC is working with the city on an agreement for sidewalk maintenance. The Board of Regents and the city would have to approve this.