Upgrades On 180th Street: An Easier Drive To The Pumpkin Patch

By: Melina MatthesMMatthes@kptm.comOMAHA (kptm) - The roads leading to a popular pumpkin patch are changing and the owner said he couldn't be more pleased.With hundreds of thousands of people visiting his farm he said the upgrades will now create a safer drive for visitors. In just a few weeks, thousands of cars will be turning through the intersection at 180th and Highway 370. The owner of Vala's Pumpkin Patch said he's thrilled to see a traffic light go up at the intersection."I think it'll improve traffic flow because people coming out of hereif they had to make a left turn on Highway 370, it'd really back things up because it's really tough to do and it took some time and so then there was just backups and stuff."The pumpkins are really starting to grow on Tim Vala's farm and over the last 30 years, so has Vala's Pumpkin Patch. But, this popular fall attraction isn't the only thing changing. The roads surrounding the farm are getting an upgrade."It's nothing I have control over so I don't like it or dislike it, you know we like the idea that we're still out in the country and we'd like to have it stay that way as long as possible but at the same time we're realistic in knowing the growth is coming are way too."He said growth like the new traffic light on Highway 370 helps his customers get to the pumpkin patch a little easier."I know some people really tried to avoid it if at all possible and so I think it's going to make it safer and it'll be a lot better."The Nebraska Department of Roads is also upgrading the one lane bridge on 180th Street. It will become two lanes and officials tell Tim Vala it will be complete by the time he opens the gates on September 20th." "When you have a one lane bridge obviously it's going to slow things down when people are coming and going so I think that's going to facilitate traffic a lot too."Giving the families heading to Vala's a less stressful route and a more possible chance of creating a memory at the pumpkin patch that'll last a lifetime. "There's a lot of magical moments the families have together that they'll always remember and that's kind of one of the important things of what we do."Right now the traffic light is not operational, but officials said it soon will be. They're currently waiting for electricity to be supplied to the poles. Once that happens they'll test the light and activate it. The Nebraska Department of Roads will also be installing a traffic signal at 204th and Harrison next week. Officials say they hope to have both working by the end of September."Like" Melina on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to stay connected.