The Hebron City Council approved a project to widen Dove Road for better access to the proposed community center earlier this month. The project will cost approximately $121,746, said JEO consultant Julie Ogden. Ogden revealed a blueprint of the plan and a cost sheet during the September city meeting.
The narrow roadway into Hebron’s business area in the northern part of town is viewed as confusing for many drivers and adding a driveway to the proposed community center area could cause additional headaches, the JEO consultant said, and widening the road with turn lanes should alleviate the confusion.
Some councilmen felt the Dove Road approach into the city limits from U.S. 81 was also too narrow for the steady semi-truck traffic that uses Dove Road as the main entrance into town, but Ogden said the state is in charge of that issue. “State engineers are afraid that putting in a turn lane at the Highway 81/Dove Road intersection will create blocked views for traffic and make it more dangerous,” she said.
What she described was a situation all too familiar to the council that occured at the U.S. 81/Highway 136 intersection south of Hebron. The turn lanes created blocked views of approaching traffic for vehicles in the driving lane wishing to drive straight ahead or wishing to make a right turn especially when a vehicle or semi-truck was trying to make a left turn at the same time. Following several accidents at the intersection, the state closed the turn lanes on Highway 136 eliminating the ability for two cars to sit side by side at the stop light.
Hebron’s project is to simply make a wider area for traffic to either turn into the community center driveway which will be located on the north side of Dove Road, or the business plaza driveway already located on the south side of the road.
The size of the project has substantially grown since its inception, however, and interim councilman Doug Huber wondered where the money was coming from. “Wasn’t the initial estimate $70-75,000,” he asked.
It was, Ogden agreed, but said the new plan, which includes putting in a turning lane in the center of the road, is a better fit for the area than what was previously proposed.
City attorney Joe Murray said there was enough money to cover the additional expenses, but a decision did not have to made until later. Suggestions included the city’s road, community improvement, community center, or keno funds. “You’ve got $47,000 sitting in the keno fund,” Murray said. “You can use that for something like this.”
The Council agreed to let bids right away. Construction on the community center site is underway, and work on the road could be started as early as this fall.