Third lane to be added to west Hwy 2

Construction is expected to begin soon on a new turn lane on West Highway 2, and new speed limit signs should soon be posted. The changes come as the result of a community-driven effort in Broken Bow to improve the safety of travelers entering the community from the west. According to Gary Thayer, district engineer for District 6 out of North Platte, a common left turn lane will be added on the west side of Broken Bow along Highway 2, creating a three-line highway all the way to the new corporate limits. Thayer says the turn lane will be part of the Merna to Broken Bow highway project currently underway. Paulsen’s Inc. is doing the work on the highway project, and Thayer says he expects the turn lane to be completed within a couple of months, if not sooner. As reported last week, the Nebraska Department of Roads re-examined the speed limit along State Highway 2 beginning at mile marker 276, after a petition drive garnered more than 1,600 signatures. The petition was a project spearheaded by KCNI/KBBN radio, and was the culmination of a campaign launched by Jennie Melham Medical Center and several community members. Thayer confirmed that the speed limit will decrease from the current 65 mph to 55 mph, beginning at mile marker 276. The city of Broken Bow has already recommended reducing the speed limit from 65 to 55, from the new city limits to the current 45 mph zone which begins at the college. According to Thayer, once approval is given for that ordinance, the new signage from the city limits to mile marker 276 will be placed. That ordinance is on the agenda for the next city council meeting, which is Monday, April 9. Thayer says the NDOR will also be providing new no passing zones along this two-mile stretch of Highway 2, with no passing allowed on the two curves. The roads department will also be erecting new signage warning drivers to watch for trucks. Once all construction is completed in the new business district on Custer Campus, Thayer explains, additional studies may be conducted on the traffic flow, just to be sure there aren’t any trouble spots that still need to be addressed.