The Grand Island City Council has initiated a number of road projects that will impact many drivers. On Tuesday night they approved a six-year plan and one of the biggest projects the city has ever done can begin as soon as this summer.
The intersection that is responsible for the most car accidents in the entire city of Grand Island will benefit from major improvements. The Old Potash Freeway and Highway 281 will have right-turn lanes added in both directions. This means the road will be widened to accommodate.
“So we have two through lanes in each direction as well as turning lanes,” said public works director John Collins.
On the east side there will be a roundabout added on Wilmar Avenue where many turn off to Hy Vee or Perkins. This is to cope with the population growth projected over the next ten years.
On the west side, since businesses along Old Potash will be affected, Claude Road will be paved to provide another access point.
“But it will become like a Webb road in that one side will be very commercial, the other side will probably be less used. Rather than people going up and down from north to south, they will be using claude,” Collins said.
Diers Avenue will also be restricted to right turns only, as people turning left on Old Potash cause a lot of backing up. The road will be widened to North Road where motorists will encounter another roundabout. The Old Potash project is expected to last until 2022 and will cost approximately $15 million.
“Some of the money comes from the gas tax revenue that the city gets from the state every year, and then to speed it up, the half-cent tax is used,” Collins said.
With these improvements, the city says the old potash will become safer to drive in and save commuters a lot of time.
The bidding process for Old Potash projects is expected to begin in March. Collins said the early phases could begin as early as this summer.
Other projects include:
-Optimized the signal synchronization of the Highway 281 corridor
-Sycamore Underpass – S Front St Bridge Deck Replacement
-Eddy Street Underpass and Associated Bridges
-North Rd – 113th to Hwy 2 – Widen to 3 lanes
-North Rd – Old Potash to 13th – Widen to 3 lanes
-Capital Ave – Moores Creek to North Rd – Widen to 3 lanes
-Custer Ave – Forrest to Old Potash – Widen to 3 lanes
-Broadwell Ave/UPRR – Planning and Environment
-Reconstruction of Locust Street; Koeing St to Fonner Park Rd
-Stolley Park Road; Entrance to the State Fair at Stuhr Rd
-Ave of Independence; Capital Avenue in Manchester/Macron