U.S. Highway 81 and Nebraska Highway 91 Intersection Review Process Completed

February 21, 2019 (Norfolk, Neb.) — The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) has determined that a Restricted Crossing U-Turn, also known as a RCUT, is the needed transportation improvement to address current safety and congestion concerns at the intersection of U.S. Highway 81 (US-81) and Nebraska Highway 91 (N-91).  Today’s announcement comes after the NDOT completed its review of public comments and study on the intersection at this location.

The project need is based on the history of right-angle crashes at this intersection, as well as to address concerns regarding intersection traffic back-ups on N-91 resulting from vehicles waiting to make a left‑turn on to US-81.

The RCUT design technique can provide significant safety benefits and greatly reduces the conflict points that drivers would otherwise see at a traditional highway intersection.  For example, where a safety improvement is needed, the RCUT strategy would reduce left-turn and through movement conflicts and has been shown to significantly decrease right-angle crashes on four-lane divided highways in other states where this design has been deployed.

The NDOT conducted a public information meeting on November 29, 2018 to share information regarding the RCUT and to discuss the transportation improvements being considered for the intersection.  In addition, over the past year the NDOT has held meetings with stakeholders to better understand how the intersection functions.

In response to comments received at the November public information meeting, NDOT removed advanced warning beacons previously located at the intersection and installed speed display signs on north and southbound US-81.  In addition, NDOT made adjustments to the design including extending the left-turn lanes leading into the U-Turn movement to allow vehicles to move out of the higher speed through lanes as soon as practical.

The NDOT has prioritized the safety improvement and programmed the $1.9 million project for 2019. Construction will begin this spring with completion anticipated this fall.

More information on the project can be found at: https://dot.nebraska.gov/projects/future-projects/jct-us-81n-91/

The Humphrey Democrat

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