North Bend Eagle



'S' Road option for Hwy. 30 getting new life

by Nathan Arneal
posted 6/7/08

The wait for a four-lane Highway 30 around North Bend isn’t over, but there might be a flashing orange construction light at the end of the tunnel.

At the June 3 North Bend City Council meeting, Ken Walter of North Bend and Dodge County Highway Superintendent Alan Doll asked the Council to pass a resolution supporting the proposed ‘S’ Road route for a new Highway 30 expressway. County Road ‘S’ is the first gravel road north of North Bend.

S Road route
Click to enlarge map of 'S' Road route

The path such a route would take has been debated since 1994. The debate took a huge step in September 2006 when a 16-member U.S. 30 Advisory Panel voted to recommend the ‘S’ Road alternative. This route leaves the current Highway 30 three and a half miles west of North Bend and follows Road ‘S’ all the way to Fremont.

Despite the resolution by the Advisory Panel nearly two years ago, opposition from the city of Fremont and the Dodge County Board of Supervisors has stalled the project.

That changed two weeks ago when the Fremont City Council reversed its position and passed a resolution supporting the ‘S’ Road path.

The County Board has not yet expressed support, but Doll and Walter said they hoped that might soon change.

“Our road and bridge committee has been studying and trying to figure out what we want,” Doll said, “and I think we have the votes now to carry through with the ‘S’ (Road) alignment.”


Read the Eagle story on the U.S. 30 Advisory Panel's recomendation of 'S' Road for the expressway from Sept. 2006.

Read the Fremont Tribune story on the June 4 Dodge County Board of Supervisors' discussion on the topic.

With Fremont now on board, Doll and Walter asked North Bend to pass a similar resolution and forward it to the County Board of Supervisors.

“I think,” Walter said, “with the three entities, the city of Fremont, the Dodge County Board and North Bend, we could form a consensus that the (Nebraska) Department of Roads is looking for to move this project forward. It’s been over 15 years. We need to get it done.”

The North Bend Council seemed eager to pass such a resolution, and a vote will be added to the agenda for the next Council meeting.

“You’re making us very happy by going with the ‘S’ Road finally,” mayor Karan Legler told Doll. “We have been wanting that ‘S’ Road ever since I’ve been on (the council) 13 years ago.”

The Dodge County Board met last Wednesday, the night after the North Bend Council meeting, and discussed but took no action on the ‘S’ Road route recommendation from its roads and bridges committee. One of the reasons was because the Board was waiting to hear North Bend’s official position.

If Fremont, North Bend and Dodge County can all get on the same page, Doll said, the next step would be to send a delegation to Lincoln to lobby the Nebraska Department of Roads to approve the project and begin construction.

In other Council business:
• After a public hearing on the issue, the Council passed Resolution 387, setting street assessments on the lots adjacent to the newly paved streets in the Flamme Addition on the west edge of town.

Things got heated when Brent Karnatz, a resident of the Flamme Addition, asked if the drainage situation in the area would be solved before they started to pay the assessments. Flamme addition residents have been reporting standing water ever since construction on the streets was completed and blame a last minute change in the engineering plans that raised the elevation of the new streets.

“I’m tired of getting yelled at from people in the Flamme Addition thinking they’re the only ones with standing water after a rain,” Legler said in a near shout. “When you live in a flat town and build in a swamp you’re going to have problems making water move.”

Karnatz responded by saying that if he had been paid the $17,000 engineering fee given to JEO Consulting, he would have found a way to solve the drainage problems the first time.

“It’s very difficult to get water off of a piece of property where water has stood for years,” Legler said. “Why you expect the city of North Bend to do it in this short period of time is beyond me.”

• The Council reviewed a $319,000 estimate they received on pulling up the four blocks of bricks on 10th Street and replacing it with concrete pavement. They will next ask for a estimate on the cost of repairing the brick street.

• Bob Shanahan, president of the Willow Wood homeowners association, attended the meeting and discussed the city’s annexation plans. Willow Wood is one of three lake developments south and southwest of town that the city is considering for annexation. Shanahan provided information he gathered by researching annexation of similar lake communities by other cities. He said he could not give an official position from the Willow Wood lake residents, but would return to the Council with an official position after the next homeowners association meeting.

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