I recently read an article in the North Platte Bulletin concerning the widening of South Buffalo Bill Road from State Farm Road to North Lake Road.
I am glad to see this project with the exponential increase in traffic on S. Buffalo Bill Road. The construction of the bridge over the South Platte River that connected both parts of Buffalo Bill Road created a need for this project in order to make South Buffalo Bill Road a safe access to and from North Platte and the Lake Mahoney area.
However, this connection has created a traffic hazard for individuals using Eugene Ave. to and from S. Buffalo Bill Road.
Eugene Ave. was originally designed as a county road, which only provided access to the homes west of the city limits, with a dead end to the west that is now connected to Buffalo Bill Road.
In the article, S. Buffalo Bill Road is described as being only 20 to 22 feet in width with no shoulders and a steep embankment for 10 to 15 percent of its length. The county has had to repair potholes on this road numerous times.
Now let’s talk about Eugene Ave., which has seen, at a minimum, a 150% increase in traffic since the connection with Buffalo Bill Road.
Eugene Ave. is 16-18 feet wide, has no shoulders, and required sealing of cracks its entire length to prevent the complete loss of the paved surface.
Eugene Ave. is now used by wider and heavier vehicles, which require passing vehicles to use the very edge of the paved roadway. This has resulted in the breakdown of the paving edge in many locations and vehicles ending up in the ditch.
This has included one of the city’s fire trucks.
I have presented my concerns to the county commissioners during at least three planning sessions for the one- and six-year road upgrades. Unfortunately, while placing the upgrading of Eugene Ave. on the six-year plan, they continue to move it back.
In paraphrasing Lincoln County Road Superintendent Carla O’Dell’s comments about S. Buffalo Bill Road; Eugene Ave.’s renovation is overdue; it’s breaking up and will probably need to be repaired more before any project is planned and implemented to upgrade this road.
In conclusion, I would recommend that unless you need to access your home or have business needs that required you to use Eugene Ave. that you use Walker Road.
It is much wider and safer.
— Mike Cook, 1906 W. Eugene Ave. North Platte.