PALMYRA – The proposal for a new road and bridge on a high risk route between Palmyra and Bennett was criticized at Tuesday’s Otoe County Board meeting.
Farmer Craig Bolz told commissioners the state traffic estimates of 195 vehicles per day are inflated. He said he sat along the roadway and never counted more than 40 cars in a 12-hour period.
He said the new road is not needed for heavy traffic or for heavy vehicles.
Bolz: “The city does not want the grain trucks coming through town and, besides that, the farmers are all getting larger. They are all getting semis, but there will be no semis coming through town, so it holds no water to say, ‘well, we’ve got to deal with the weight.”
Bolz objected to using six acres of the farm ground for the new road alignment.
Commissioner Dean Speth said the mood was positive at a public hearing in Palmyra attended by about 30 people.
The roadway is a popular stretch among student drivers going between Palmyra and Bennett and Speth said residents are aware of its current hazards.
Speth: “It was originally to make the corner safe. There were some people killed in a car wreck on the corner and they were going to make that intersection more safe and this bridge would be included in that project.”
The bridge at the edge of Palmyra would be replaced with a box culvert and the winding road would be replaced with a new alignment that would require a wetlands permit.
Under the proposal, Palmyra and Otoe County would share in 10 percent of the total project costs.