Contractor Troy Chase gathered truck drivers, project managers, construction foreman, and representatives of law enforcement and the Nebraska Department of Transportation on Monday to discuss ways to make traffic safer near the Sustainable Beef construction project.
There have been some near accidents at the site on the east side of North Platte. Cars passing trucks near the intersection of Newberry and Golden Road have made for some anxious moments.
“We’ve had complaints on both sides — trucks and local traffic,” Chase said, “and we want the public to know that we are committed to safety. We are going to be here for a long time, and we need to figure out ways to share the road to keep everyone safe.”
A fleet of semi-trucks are hauling dirt to the site to build up the terrain and elevate it out of the level of floods — a considerable job in the lowland between the South Platte and North Platte rivers. The exact location is above a former wastewater settling pond, where soil was once excavated.
Rod Walker of KFL Trucking said he experienced one of the near wrecks and had to take the shoulder with his semi-truck to avoid a collision.
Chase said the entrance to Golden Road has been recently widened by 15 feet so incoming and outgoing trucks can pass on the intersection.
State Trooper Seth Olsen said the three law agencies will work with state engineers to study traffic patterns. A no-passing zone or a turning lane for northbound traffic will be options to consider.
Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Dan Newton posted lower 40 mph speed limit signs on Monday. He asked truck drivers to have patience as local drivers get used to the lower limit.
“It’s been 55 mph since the road was opened. It’s going to take them some time to get used to it,” Newton said.
North Platte Police Lt. Jeff Foote placed a speed monitor south of I-80 to remind people of the lower speed limit. He said he would move it north in a few days.
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