OMAHA, Neb. — Omaha is sprucing up a thoroughfare leading to and from the city’s airport in hopes of making a good first impression on travelers.

The city has teamed up with Lanoha Nurseries and the Peter Kiewit Foundation for a $378,000 project to plant trees and renovate some islands on Abbott Drive between the Eppley Airfield terminal and downtown Omaha. Abbott Drive is considered the main entryway into the city from the airport, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

Lanoha is planting for the city. The foundation is funding the project with a grant, but the city will be in charge of maintenance, budgeting $150,000 a year for it beginning in 2018.

The three groups teamed up nearly 20 years ago in an effort to transform Abbott Drive from a run-down street into a green road to Omaha. That initial effort was funded by a $5 million Kiewit Foundation grant. It included the streetlights that currently line the road, plus thousands of trees and shrubs on the side and in new raised islands in the middle of the street.

The current project includes replacing about 80 trees. Lanoha is also planting perennial shrubs and thousands of perennial flowers, as well as repairing concrete pavers that circle the islands.

Officials said the plan aims to create a good impression at Omaha’s entrance quickly and for the long term.

“We’ve been trying to come up with a sustainable plan to give that gateway to the city a redo with instant impact,” said Chris Lanoha, vice president of the family-owned nursery. “We wanted to give that initial wow factor.”

The project is expected to finish this fall.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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