Intersection Proposal Draws Criticism

HUMPHREY – A proposal to make a troubled intersection safer and more efficient is drawing criticism by semi-trailer drivers and residents.

The plan put forward by the Nebraska Department of Transportation will re-work the intersection of Highway 81 and 91 outside of Humphrey. The idea is to make the intersection safer for semi-trailers to pull into the nearby truck stop while not slowing down traffic.

NDOT held a meeting earlier this month to look at plans for a change, but locals and drivers aren’t happy one about one of the proposed plans, saying a “J-turn” would be less safe and more confusing to out-of-town travelers.

Semi-trailer driver Ron Storm says the intersection has been a problem for years, and every change NDOT has made, never solves the issues.

“They just got to keep making it safer, I don’t know. Because there’s such a flow of traffic on this intersection here; 91 and 81. Its just unbelievable, lets put it that way.”

Waitress at the Klub 81 Travel Center and Grill, Rita Simmons, says she sees several accidents a year at the intersection and changing the flow again would cause even more problems.

“It’s going to cause way more confusion, like I said the intersection as it is causes enough confusion as it is for people that aren’t from around here, that adding this, would be ten times more confusion for people.”

The “J” turn is just one of several plans being proposed by NDOT, but would be the most time and cost-efficient.

Residents are urged to attend a public meeting later this year for the final decision, but a date has not been set.