Plans to build roundabout on highway 6

Local4 News at 5
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 8:20 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The City of Hastings is exploring plans to install a roundabout at the intersection of South Elm Avenue and East South Street, with the hope of improving traffic flow.

It would be part of a construction project to repave that portion of the highway, which spans from J Street to Showboat Boulevard. The entire project is estimated to cost around $35 million, but the city will only have to budget $8 million.

“This is a project that’s been talked about in some way shape or form since the 1980s,” Lee Vrooman, Director of Engineering for the city of Hastings, said. “In 2016, the city entered into an agreement with the state for a five lane design. In 2021, the state came back to us and proposed a three lane design.”

Vrooman said on road projects the state covers 80 percent of the cost. He said the city will pay its portion with either cash or bond.

“The three lane design really took away a lot of the right away impacts that were there,” Vrooman said. “There’s still going to be some right away impacts at the intersection of South Street and Elm those are probably the biggest ones.”

Vrooman said the impact of the project is limited to businesses along the construction route, as it will be done in phases. He’s certain that this project is the long term solution for the city.

“That section of highway six, at least a portion of it needs repaired, you know with the drainage, just the condition of the pavement,” Vrooman said. “This would be a long term solution for those repairs.”

Vrooman said the project will prevent the city from having to do an overlay. Another city official says a full reconstruction is necessary.

“At this point, you know we can continue to patch but the road is going to continually deteriorate over time,” Shawn Metcalf, City Administrator of Hastings, said. “At some point we have to address it and reconstruct the road.”