The Nebraska Department of Roads hosted a large crowd of citizens at a public information open house regarding a proposed change of U.S. Highway 73 at the Falls City Senior Center last Tuesday, July 14.
Most folks who came out were not in favor of the new three-lane design. DOR District 1 Engineer Tom Goodbarn said the three-lane design is being done all over the state and works very well. He noted the concern of truck traffic and proximity of businesses, but explained that with a three-lane highway, a center turn lane flows easier, allowing traffic to separate and not leave others stopped behind others making a left turn.
On Harlan Street, from 19th Street north, all current medians are planned to stay.
The proposed project is estimated to cost $2.9 million and would be paid for by federal and state funding sources. To overlay the highway would cost roughly $1.9 million.
Identified as In Falls City and North, the proposed project would resurface about 2.94 miles of US-73, starting at 7th Street, just north of the southern corporate limits of Falls City, and extending to approximately one mile north of the northern corporate limits of Falls City.
The purpose of this proposed project is to preserve the US-73 transportation asset, improve the reliability of the transportation system and perpetuate the mobility of the traveling public. The project need is based on the current condition of the roadway.
The planned construction would consist of milling and resurfacing the existing roadway and shoulders. Additional improvements would include stabilizing the surfaced shoulders, earth shoulder construction, transitioning foreslopes, concrete repairs, ADA curb ramp construction, grading, and removing guardrail.
The four-lane section from 7th to 19th Street would be reduced to three lanes, which would include a northbound, southbound, and a center two-way left-turn lane. The three lanes would be reconstructed with full depth oncrete pavement.
This project would require the acquisition of additional property rights including new right-of-way (ROW), and temporary easements (TE) due to the proposed reconstruction of sidewalks and curb ramps to meet ADA requirements. Access to adjacent properties would be maintained during construction, but may be limited at times due to phasing requirements. Impacts to wetlands are not anticipated.
Construction could begin as early as spring of 2017 with completion by fall of the same year. The proposed project would be constructed under traffic, with lane closures controlled with approved temporary traffic control.
The public is being encouraged to make suggestions or express concerns regarding this proposed project. Comments will be collected through July 29. Written comments should be submitted to: Sarah Kugler, Public Involvement Coordinator, NE Dept. of Roads, P.O. Box 94759, Lincoln, NE 68509; firstname.lastname@example.org; phone (402)479-4871; fax (402) 479-3989.
Information regarding the proposed project is available at www.roads.nebraska.gov/projects/ by clicking on the “In Falls City and North” link. For those without Internet access, info may be obtained through the contact above or at NDOR Headquarters, 1500 Hwy 2, Lincoln, NE, or contact Thomas Goodbarn, NDOR District One Engineer, (402) 471-0850, email@example.com