Melissa Wheeler, Farm Bureau

The North Bend Eagle

 

Express map

New expressway opens to the north

by Nathan Arneal
Published 5/12/21, 5/19/21

Updated 5/11/21

A portion of the four-lane Highway 30 expressway around North Bend opened last Tuesday, May 11. However, it will have minimal effect on local traffic.

The previously completed segment of the four-lane expressway project coming from the west ended three miles west of North Bend. The expressway segment opened last week picks up there and travels north and east until it intersects with Highway 79 about a mile north of North Bend.

30 open
NDOT workers put the final touches on the expressway before opening it Tuesday [May 11, 2021] afternoon near the intersection with County Road 7.

Eventually, the expressway will continue east until it joins existing four-lane highway north of Fremont. For now, it ends in a three-way stop at Highway 79.

Construction workers put the final touches on the new segment last Tuesday, painting white lines in a chevron pattern in the unused space between the traffic lanes and turning lanes. The road closed barriers were removed and the road opened shortly after 4 p.m.

Really, the only drivers that might benefit from the new road would be those coming from the north and wanting to turn west. For example, someone driving from Snyder to Schuyler. They would be able to turn onto the new expressway and continue west without passing through North Bend.

Any traffic traveling west or east between Schuyler and Fremont will stay on the previous Highway 30 route through North Bend. Traffic traveling east on Highway 30 cannot directly access the newly opened expressway. It will remain that way until the entire expressway to Fremont is complete and open, Department of Transportation project manager Mick Jacobs said.

The eastbound lanes of the new expressway are accessible from county roads 5, 6, 7 and Highway 79. The eastbound lanes are closed west of County Road 5, but Jacobs said the eastbound expressway will soon be open at CR 4, once some work at that intersection is complete.

Grading and dirt work on the final section of the expressway between North Bend and Fremont has already begun. In a perfect world, the complete expressway could be open as soon as late 2023, one NDoR official estimated. However, weather delays and funding complications could push that completion date back.


 

This story was updated from the May 12 printed version to include more precise information about the timing of the opening.

 

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