Hastings looks to improve traffic flow on 12th Street

Local4 News at 10
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 11:04 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 6:56 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings City Council held a worksession, and one big item on the agenda was the 12th Street project.

JEO Consultants presented their solutions to make 12th Street more free flowing. The study consist of every intersection on 12th Street from Nalan Road to Burlington Avenue. There are three proposed roundabouts that will be at Marion Road, Adams Central Avenue, and Baltimore Avenue.

Director of Engineering Lee Vrooman said they’re looking for ways to increase traffic flow and safety along the corridor, with a price tag of $32 million. The project will be conducted in 17 phases with a timeline of 25 to 30 years. Vrooman said some roads won’t need as much work as others.

“From Burlington to Baltimore the width is really what it needs to be now because it already has three lanes just two lanes in the east direction, one in the west,” Vrooman said. “From Baltimore to Sycamore, again it depends on where you’re at along that section of roadway, but in general four to five feet on either side of the existing roadway is what would be needed.”

Vrooman said modifying lanes near Burlington Avenue will make 12th Street safer to cross.

JEO Transportation Senior Project Manager Mark Lutjeharms said there’s one part of the project that’s a top priority.

“The first is actually the intersection at Marion Road and that’s to identify or to address some of the existing traffic delays that are occurring at that intersection; and to set it to make by control some of the speeds that are coming into the community, both from the north and from the west,” Lutjeharms said. “So with that location we’re actually proposing a single lane roundabout to serve the traffic at that location.”

Lutjeharm said the idea of roundabouts at Marion Road and Adams Central Avenue helps alleviate traffic around peak hours, which aligns with school take-in and dismissal. This left council members having questions about safety.

“Well it would nice to just have some sort of you know maybe a flashing red or something during those hours where they are flashing or at least required traffic to stop so that those kids can cross,” said Brad Consbruck, Hastings City Council, Ward Two. “They probably have to put some crosswalk paint across there to make it an official crosswalk.”

Consbruck said a number of residents have expressed their concern for middle school students crossing on 12th Street. He said there needs to be something in place to ensure student safety on their way to school.

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