Road Closures Increasing in Norfolk

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Keally Peck, Writer

Coming up on the second year mark of Norfolk still holding construction signs along one of their main town roads, what are the end goals for this construction and how long is the construction planned to take.

Since 1881, Norfolk, Nebraska has been known as the northeastern Nebraska town and eventually where Northeast Community College would soon be found along Benjamin Avenue This same road would eventually become a problem later on for those down the road, needing to make left or right turns into more populated buildings, like Norfolk Middle School and the YMCA, but no turn lane in sight. Seeing this as a problem, the city of Norfolk voted for the two year long construction of Benjamin Avenue to have many turn lane options. Halfway into the construction project, parents of middle schoolers now find it easier to turn right into the middle school, which now has two turning lanes which completely separate from the ongoing traffic. This new road will also help patch any cracks or bumps which were previously in the road, along with adding new sidewalks and trails along Benjamin Avenue as well. This project began on April 4, 2023 and plans to be completed by November 2023.

First Street in Norfolk can be seen differently by many different people. For some, First Street is where they live, while others may see it as a back road to avoid the highway traffic on 13th Street. No matter the reason, the First Street closure has caused many issues for those who use the street in their daily lives. With the whole street taking a blockage, closing off the road completely, the goal for this unneeded stress is leaving some curious. As part of the Braasch Avenue reconstruction plan, a roundabout is planned to be placed on the intersection of First Street and Braasch Avenue to better control the traffic levels around that area. Along with the new roundabout will also come a new First Street bridge. The bridge plans to replace the current structure with a new 60 foot single span structure that will allow open movement on the river under First Street. The trail that currently crosses First Street on the north side of the bridge will be moved and run under First Street along the river. This project plans to be done by the summer of 2023.

With current projects taking place during this cold winter, not a lot of other construction plans are going to start until the weather plans are more clear and construction ready. But, some plans are still in store, however they are not talked about enough. According to, Norfolk plans to construct more housing for all kinds of different housing preferences. For instance, some construction plans include people who want to live next to Medelmans Lake, or those attending Wayne State College. For now, only the current projects seem to be fully planned out with certain due dates. As of early March, Benjamin Avenue is somewhat halfway done, with the construction team currently working on widening the bridge on Benjamin Avenue to be accustomed to the new roads. Along with Benjamin, First Street is still blocked off starting from Elm Street to Braasch Avenue, with the right lane being repaired along the side of the middle school. But, beginning on March 13, 2023, the road construction on First Street will move up to Norfolk Avenue. Because of this, the road to Braasch Avenue will no longer be accessible, but the intersection of First Street and Norfolk Avenue plans to remain open.

First Street will open later in the summer of this year, with hopes of this project -along with some other future projects- will be on track towards completion and hope that travel will be much easier with these new improvements.