Goal Diverting Traffic During Wayne Trail Phase 2 Project Is To Keep Two Lanes Open, Pedestrian Underpass Being Constructed

Goal Diverting Traffic During Wayne Trail Phase 2 Project Is To Keep Two Lanes Open, Pedestrian Underpass Being Constructed
Photo facing west from the Wayne Jr/Sr High School parking lot.

WAYNE – Those who take 7th Street (HWY 35) through Wayne will see construction over the summer near the Wayne Community Activity Center for the second phase of the Wayne pedestrian trail.

According to a release from the City of Wayne, work began on Monday, May 11 as TR Harris Construction Inc. of Homer is the general contractor for the project. The anticipated completion of the trail project is Fall 2020.

Street & Planning Director with the City of Wayne, Joel Hansen said first part of the process will start from the corner of Ashley Park through the Activity Center property into the front of the building.

“The reason they need to do that is because in order to build the underpass they’re going to have to widened the highway to keep two lanes of traffic open,” said Hansen. “Which means they’ll have to remove that sidewalk on the south side of the highway. So, the first part of the trail will actually become detour for the sidewalk during the construction of the underpass.”

Westbound traffic on HWY 35 is currently being diverted into the center (turning) lane for a few weeks to remove the north side curb and add extra paving in order to get two lanes of traffic around.

“That’s going to be a temporarily diversion,” Hansen added. “Then they’ll actually divert traffic onto the new widened part of the road while they build the south half of the underpass. Basically, throughout the summer we’re probably going to see diversion of traffic but the goal is to keep two lanes of traffic open the entire time during the project.”

Milo Meyer Construction of Wayne will be doing the dirt work and TR Harris Construction will do the paving as a large excavator will be needed for the tunnel for the underpass to be poured.

General discussion of the Wayne pedestrian trail began back in the late 1990s about different phasing. The request for funding to start the project was around 2004 after the first trail phase was completed.

Hansen is calling the underpass a critical path as it’s the one thing that has to happen in order for the rest of trail to be built in the area.

“That’s going to kind of determine the guideline of when they can get done with that section,” Hansen mentioned. “While the underpass work is going on, they’ll (Milo Meyer) probably go from Ashley Park and work the south part of the trail from there. Then the last part will be from the underpass north up to the college campus and around Lindahl Drive and HWY 15.”

The second phase of the Wayne pedestrian trail project is funded 80% by Federal funds and the Nebraska Department of Roads is assisting with oversight.