Drive across northwestern Sarpy County and the transformation is evident. Roads that were once narrow and gravel are now paved, and an efficient, modern road network is taking shape.
“The CONNECTSarpy – West Sarpy road program is the largest package of road projects in county history, with a construction cost of $65 million. We’re investing in an entire section of the county that is already bursting with development,” said Sarpy County Board Chairman Don Kelly. “This is an aggressive effort, and it is well on the way to better connecting our residents to neighborhoods, schools and businesses.”
The latest Census figures show Sarpy County added almost 32,000 people since 2010, making Sarpy the fastest growing county in the state. Much of that population growth is taking place in northwestern Sarpy County, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
The Gretna Public Schools’ second high school is under construction at 180th Street and Cornhusker Road, and several new neighborhoods are taking shape along the 180th Street corridor.
To ensure the area is ready for the additional growth, Sarpy County is improving the roads in a 9-square-mile area between Harrison Street and Highway 370 from 168th to 204th Streets.
In 2020, most of Giles Road was paved from 168th to 204th streets, with a small section left to complete as crews reroute 180th Street. Work completed in 2021 includes:
- More than 6.5 lane-miles of paving on 180th Street, Meridian Street and Giles Road.
- Significant grading work on 180th Street, Cornhusker Road, Giles Road and the future Meridian Street.
- Storm sewers installed throughout the project area.
- Retaining walls along 180th Street.
- Box culverts on 180th Street and Cornhusker Road at Tiburon Creek crossings.
- Construction of the 180th Street overpass over the BNSF Railway railroad tracks and South Papio Creek.
To pay for the program, the Sarpy County Board authorized issuing $51.5 million in bonds. Approximately $18.8 million of the work is already complete.
“Issuing bonds for road construction makes financial sense for Sarpy County because we are able to tackle large-scale projects without having to raise our tax levy,” said Sarpy County Commissioner Jim Warren, who represents western Sarpy County. “The county’s continued growth, stable cash reserves and Aaa bond rating all factored in to us getting a very competitive 1.6% interest rate on our bonds.”
The program is on track to be done in the fall of 2023.
In 2021, crews completed three legs of the redesigned intersection of 180th Street and Giles Road, which is part of the CONNECTSarpy - West Sarpy road program. (Photo: Olsson)