Following presentations made in Frankfort Square during Columbus Days and at a gathering of downtown stakeholders earlier this month regarding a potential downtown viaduct, the City of Columbus will host a public open house from 4-7 p.m. today.
The meeting, which was previously announced, will take place in the Community Room/Council Chamber on the third floor of the Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St. It will begin with a brief presentation and then transition to an open house format.
This Downtown Viaduct Study is a planning-level study to investigate and develop options for a new viaduct over the Union Pacific Railroad in the downtown area between 23rd Avenue and 27th Avenue. It comes after much public feedback indicating there was a need and desire for a downtown viaduct.
The downtown viaduct project, should it come to fruition, would be funded via a three-way agreement among the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Union Pacific and the City of Columbus. The project could qualify for federal grants.
But there are no imminent plans or guarantee the project will happen. Once a concept is selected through public feedback and funding is worked out, voters would have to decide to approve it. Given it would require a ballot vote and everything else associated with design, project organizers estimate it could still be five-plus years before they could turn dirt.
All interested people are invited to attend and present relevant comments and questions. Design alternative information will be displayed and personnel from the City and design team will be present to answer questions and receive comments. The “open house” format allows the public to come at any time during the advertised hours, gather information about the project, speak one-on-one with project personnel, and leave as they wish.