Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska

According to ehuacom, Omaha is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nebraska, with a population of 487,000 and an urban area of 971,000 residents (2021), which extends into Iowa.

According to mcat-test-centers, Omaha is located in the far east of the state of Nebraska, on the Missouri River, which also forms the border with Iowa. The city is quite an important transportation hub, as Omaha is one of the larger cities in the Midwestern United States. The city is seen as a gateway to the west, as here the barren plains of the Midwest merge into the High Plains that slowly rise to the Rocky Mountains. The city is 332 meters above sea level, and measures 35 kilometers from east to west and 30 kilometers from north to south. Omaha is a fairly prosperous city, which can also be seen in the often large houses on the outskirts.

Omaha has few suburbs. Council Bluffs in Iowa can also be seen as a center in its own right. Some suburbs include Bellevue, Papillion and La Vista. Although the city is on the same latitude as Rome, the city has a completely different climate. There is a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures above 30 degrees are common in summer, while temperatures can dip below -20 in winter. Most precipitation falls in the summer and there is an average of 76 centimeters of snow in the winter.

Population growth

The urban area formally consists of 8 counties, but most of these are rural in character and lie only in the Omaha influence area, with no apparent suburbanization. The city of Omaha is mostly in Douglas County, with the southern suburbs in Sarpy County. The city of Council Bluffs in Iowa is located in Pottawattamie County, which also has extensive rural areas. The population has continuously increased over the years, although not very spectacularly compared to, for example, Denver. The population of Council Bluffs and the surrounding area has been stagnant for half a century, but the southern suburbs of Nebraska in particular are growing quite rapidly. The city of Omaha itself is also continuously growing.

Year Douglas Sarpy pottawattamie total
1950 281,000 16,000 70,000 367,000
1960 343,000 31,000 83,000 457,000
1970 389.000 64,000 87,000 540,000
1980 397,000 86,000 87,000 570,000
1990 416,000 103,000 83,000 602,000
2000 464,000 123,000 88,000 675,000
2010 517,000 159,000 93,000 769,000
2020 585,000 191,000 94,000 870,000
2021 585,000 193,000 93,000 871,000

Road network

Omaha’s highway network.

Omaha is a interchange on the U.S. highway network, serving east-west traffic on Interstate 80 and north-south traffic on Interstate 29, which remains in Iowa and passes through Council Bluffs. Both routes are important transit routes for freight traffic. Much freight traffic on I-29 has a destination or origin in Canada. I-29 and I-80 are briefly double-numbered on the south side of Council Bluffs.

Interstate 480 serves downtown Omaha, which is a few miles north of I-80. The major bypass is Interstate 680, which is a route about the same length as I-80 for traffic toward Des Moines. Most of I-680 runs quite far outside of Omaha, except on the west side. US 6 has been developed as a highway in the western suburbs and is of increasing importance. Particularly noteworthy are the overpasses of US 6 west of I-680. The highway here runs on two separate viaducts with the frontage roads at ground level. US 75 forms the north-south connection through the urban area, and is partly double-numbered with I-480.

The city of Omaha depends on a number of bridges over the Missouri River, which separates it from the state of Iowa and Council Bluffs. There are three highway bridges, from south to north I-80, I-480, and I-680. In addition, there are two bridges for local traffic in southern Omaha, including a toll bridge at Bellevue.

The highways in Omaha are spaciously designed with adequate capacity. I-80 has mostly 2×4 or 2×5 lanes through Omaha, and I-480 also has 2×4 lanes south of downtown. I-680 has 2×4 lanes for the portion through the urban area, and 2×2 lanes further outside Omaha. The I-29 is equipped with 2×2 lanes. Congestion is limited.


The 1955 highway plan for Omaha.

The first 2×2 divided highway in Nebraska was a 10-mile section of US 75 between Omaha and Fort Crook (now Offutt Air Force Base). This opened to traffic on December 8, 1941 and is today Fort Crook Road. However, this was not a full-fledged freeway, the current US 75 freeway was later constructed west of the original 2×2 road.

Before the system of Interstate Highways was created in 1956, Omaha, and at the same time Nebraska or Iowa, didn’t have a single freeway. In 1958-1959, the first two highway sections opened; I-29 from Council Bluffs to Missouri Valley in Iowa, and part of I-80 and I-680 in southwest Omaha. By 1961, I-80 had already been completed through Omaha, except for the bridge over the Missouri River, which opened some time later in 1972. I-680 was built in stages, mostly in the 1970s, and was completed in 1979 when the north bridge over the Missouri River was opened. I-480 was the most drastic project in Omaha, as space has never been cleared for a freeway around the center. Quite a few buildings had to be demolished for this. I-480 was completed in 1966. US 75 was built north of downtown in the 1970s, and south of downtown in the 1980s-90s. was found to be substandard. In recent years, the capacity of several highways has been expanded, making Omaha one of the most traffic-free conurbations in the United States.


Congestion is limited in the Omaha region. In 2014, the travel time index was 1.16 and Omaha was ranked 65th among major US cities. On other indicators, such as annual delays, unnecessary fuel consumption and costs of congestion, Omaha scores even better. The annual delay in Omaha was 32 hours, ranking 84th in the United States.

Omaha, Nebraska