Otoe County officials have placed a plan to open the area known locally as Seven Sisters on the back burner.
County Highway Superintendent Glen Steffensmeier had suggested developing a road through the area to provide alternative access to the Omaha Public Power District power plants.
According to local folklore, a man hung each of his sisters on each of seven hills that crop out of the Missouri River bluffs. Now, the hills could surround an alternative roadway to the Omaha Public Power District coal plants.
A proposed road project could open truck traffic to an area south of Nebraska City linked locally to the haunting legend of seven sisters, but Otoe County Commissioner Carol Crook said the project is not a top priority.
Otoe County officials are developing the proposal to provide alternative access to coal-fired power plants operated by the Omaha Public Power District on the edge of the Missouri River south of Nebraska City.
The proposal would increase traffic on rugged terrain that is site to one of Nebraska City’s most enduring and gruesome ghost stories.
According to legend, a man hung his seven sisters on each of seven hills. Although only four of the hills remain prominent today, local residents have reported strange occurrences in the area. Some have reported cars stalling and headlights dimming at night. Others claim visitors can still hear the screams of the sisters when the conditions are right.
Crook said Road L, which descends the river bluff about a mile through the Seven Sisters area, is one of two alternatives. She said OPPD has not approached the board about the project and it is lower on the priority list than dozens of closed bridges and hundreds of road hazards marked with red flags.
The other proposed roadway would take traffic through an abandoned mining town founded by a coal mining company in 1867.
Kirk Miller, OPPD’s manager of the Nebraska City station, said the Minersville route has issues with flooding, road width, a narrow bridge and shoulder stability.
“On a daily basis, we have ash trucks leaving the facility and receive trucks delivering commodities such as chemicals, fuel oil, ammonia, pebble lime, activated carbon and our normal spare parts and supplies,” Miller told county commissioners.
“I believe that your plan to widen and improve County Road L and replace the bridge with a higher capacity and wider box culvert is proactive and will provide a workable bypass route that serves our needs well,” he said.