North Platte, Neb. – The safety of walkers, bicyclists and fishing enthusiasts is the primary reason, Nebraska Public Power District will permanently close the gravel roadway that runs along the north front of the Lake Maloney Dam to public traffic.
Work will begin Monday, July 18, with the installation of gates designed to prevent public motor vehicles access to the roadway.
“The roadway below the dam has received extensive damage due to the high volume of rain the area has received,” said Chuck Troia, manager of water systems and renewable energy for NPPD,. “Parts of the road and shoulder were under water, and several individuals used the location to conduct off road mud trailing, resulting in even more damage to the roadway and shoulder area.”
The roadway was constructed years ago for the purpose of allowing NPPD maintenance vehicles to gain access to the dam. Troia added, “Many people use it as a short cut to get from one side of the lake to the other, sometimes at high speed, and it was not designed for that purpose. That becomes a safety issue for the District.”
Troia pointed out the gravel roadway is used by individuals who live around the lake and who like to camp, walk, or to ride bicycles. Fishermen also utilize the dam. “We don’t want to have vehicles going through at high speeds attempting to do mud trailing and damage the road. More importantly, we don’t want any member of the public hurt. Safety is our priority here. We want to eliminate the risk of any pedestrian or cyclist being hit by a vehicle. Closing the road to such uses eliminates the risk,” he said.
Troia pointed out that NPPD will be putting up a gate that will block access by motor vehicles onto the gravel roadway. Reflective material will also be placed on and around the gates for safety purposes at night. There will be a gate available to allow access for walkers and cyclists.
NPPD vehicles will be able to access the gravel road to conduct maintenance work. There will be some parking spots developed and turn arounds will be developed at each end of the road for public use Troia noted while there will no longer be public access to the road, the paved county road (West Lake Road), to the north side of the dam, will allow for traffic to get from one side of the lake to the other.