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City looks toward Claude Road expansion, roundabout to solve Diers traffic problems
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City looks toward Claude Road expansion, roundabout to solve Diers traffic problems

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072321_CLAUDE ROUNDABOUT

To relieve traffic problems at the intersection of Diers Avenue and State Street, the City of Grand Island is considering an extension of Claude Road that would include a roundabout at State, adding medians to Diers and State, and prohibiting left turns. (Independent/Brandon Summers)

The traffic at the Diers Avenue and State Street intersection long has been a problem.

A solution is being considered: an extension of Claude Road to State Street culminating in a roundabout.

Grand Island Public Works Director John Collins detailed the potential project at a budget study session of the Grand Island City Council on Tuesday.

The proposal does not appear in a list of planned 2021-22 public works projects.

“We’ll put a roundabout at State and Claude, which gives us the circulation we need so traffic will be forced to turn right,” Collins said. “Diers will be right-in or right-out, as will all the driveways along to this roundabout, and that will let them have the circulation to come back to (Highway) 281.”

The only way to address the problem at Diers is to restrict turning movement, he said.

With the roundabout, there would be no left turn onto or from Diers from any direction.

“We would also have to restrict the left-turn movements in and out of the commercial drives for 100 or 200 feet or so along Diers, and that would fix the problems,” Collins said.

There also would be medians on State and Diers to control movement.

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“The majority of the drivers are going from point A to point B, but they’re interrupted by the people needing to turn in or out of Diers or one of the businesses,” Collins said.

The city has long been aware of ongoing traffic problems at the intersection, City Council member Mitch Nickerson said.

“As you’re heading north on Diers toward Menards, people want to go into Pumpers right there, so they’ll back everybody up,” he said. “If we can just push them down a couple of drives, that’s great, but what we’re going to do is restrict left hand turns for a little while so they can’t cut off traffic at Pumpers. That is a popular place and it’s just not a good entryway.”

A conceptual design is ready.

The project must be approached in phases, Collins said.

“We need to build a support road which includes Claude, and there’s a little connection piece from Diers where Claude will intersect with it, and that will provide the circulation needed so we don’t create additional traffic problems,” he said.

Though not included in the city’s 2022 projects, it is a priority, Collins said.

“I would do it today if I could. It’s just if I do it today, I’m creating a few other problems,” he said. “If I build everything in phases, I don’t create other turning problems.”

Being planned for 2022 is a roundabout at the Five Points intersection at State Street, Broadwell Avenue and Eddy Street.

Work will begin to acquire a public right-of-way and finish designs in 2022.

That project is expected to cost $3.4 million total with a $2.6 million federal funding cap.

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