NDOT presents Hastings Southeast Project to council

Local4 News at 10
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 1:22 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings City Council got a closer look at plans for a three-lane roadway and a proposed roundabout in the southeast part of town.

The presentation happened Monday during the council’s work session.

Nebraska Department of Transportation’s Mick Syslo shared their plan of a 2.4 mile reconstruction of Highway 6 with a proposed roundabout at South and Elm near Duncan Field.

The project is currently estimated to cost $35 million with construction not expected to begin until 2025. The City of Hastings is on the hook for 20% of the cost of the project.

Last October, NDOT presented the council with plans for five lanes as well as a roundabout in that area but that was reduced down due to cost. There were concerns about the effects of pedestrian traffic to businesses in that area.

Syslo shared videos showing what the finished project would look like, saying that a roundabout would be the best option for that area. He added that the design is large enough to accommodate semi traffic.

“It allows for very fluid movements,” he said.

There were questions brought up about trains that are stopped on the railroad and if that would cause a problem if this project was put into place. He responded by showing a video demonstrating what would happen if a train was going by after doing studies of train patterns. They planned to have enough space for people to wait or continue on the roundabout if they choose.

Multiple councilmembers brought up pedestrian traffic concerns and how they would handle that.

Councilwoman Ginny Skutnik said she could just see young children not realizing the cars going around the roundabout. While councilmember Ted Schroeder said he thinks some sort of precautionary sign needs to be put in and if it flashes, even better.

NDOT said the area where the crosswalks are shown on the plan is the best option as it is the slowest point for drivers as they head into the roundabout and people who are crossing only need to look one direction at a time.

The state agency is requesting council take action to approve support for the project, including exploring the possibility of a roundabout.

City Engineer Lee Vrooman indicated he supported what NDOT has designed and agreed that the next step was getting the resolution approved by council and as the design continues to firm up, the city needs to start looking at utilities that can be put in place prior to the start of project construction.

Mayor Corey Stutte said they will take it up in January after the new council is seated.