Farm Bureau - Melissa Wheeler

The North Bend Eagle

 

Revised RCUT map

RCUT revisions aimed at enhanced safety, usability

by Nathan Arneal
Published 11/10/21

The Nebraska Department of Transportation unveiled a revised plan for a restricted crossing U-turn at the soon-to-be intersection of highways 30 and 79 at a public meeting in the North Bend city auditorium last Tuesday.

More coverage:

Aug. 18: RCUT plan touted as safer alternative at 30-79
Oct. 13: A year later, Humphrey RCUT wins over locals
Oct. 27: Suggestions made for RCUT at stakeholders meeting

The plan presented included several modifications that came as a result of feedback received at an Oct. 21 meeting with local government officials and other stakeholders. Officials from the city of North Bend, NBC schools and Dodge County also spoke in support of the RCUT plan.

NDOT will make a final decision on the RCUT for the intersection a mile north of North Bend in December. Construction is anticipated to begin in the spring and be finished by next fall.

The RCUT will have people turning and merging with one or two lanes of traffic at a time rather than asking drivers on Highway 79 to cross all four lanes of Highway 30 at once. Studies at an RCUT near Humphrey and in other states show RCUTs greatly reduce frequency and severity of crashes, according to stats presented at the meeting. For example, North Carolina has 94 RCUTs and has seen a 59% reduction in total crashes and a 71% reduction in fatal or injury crashes at those intersections.

Modifications made to the original plan and to the Humphrey RCUT include:

• A wider bulb-out – extra pavement added to help large trucks and farm equipment complete the U-turn – has been added. The North Bend RCUT will have a blub-out 18 feet wider than Humphrey’s, giving the outer edge of the turn a 115-foot diameter, compared to the 97-foot diameter at Humphrey.

• Lighting was added near the bulb outs for improved visibility throughout the RCUT.

• The addition of a third lane, an auxiliary lane, between the U-turn and Highway 79. This means a vehicle on 79 that wants to continue on 79 will not have to rejoin the full-speed lanes of Highway 30 traffic before making its next turn. After the U-turn, the vehicle will stay in that third lane and then turn back onto Highway 79.

“That was a great suggestion we got from our meeting with the school board, council and chamber of commerce,” said Bill Wehling, an NDOT assistant design engineer who led the presentation.

Like Humphrey, speed at the intersection will be reduced from 70 mph to 60 on Highway 30.

North Bend mayor Rod Scott said he visited the Humphrey RCUT and is pleased with the changes NDOT has made to the North Bend RCUT plan.
“I just know this is going to save some lives for us,” Scott said.

 

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