Tree Clearning Begins Final Phase Of Hwy 20 Project

Aerial of hwy 20 projectTree clearing on the west end curve marks the beginning of the final part of construction of five-and-a-half miles of new road on U.S. 20 near the town of Eddyville. Beginning Monday, January 18, travelers in the area of U.S. 20 at milepost 16 should expect safety delays of up to 20 minutes while trees are felled and removed. All work that will impact traffic will be done during weekday daylight hours on Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and on Fridays 9 a.m. – noon. The work is expected to be completed by the end of February.

“With the tree clearing underway we can begin to see the end of this project,” said Project Leader Jerry Wolcott. “This summer, the final phase of construction will begin, which includes straightening the curve at the west end of the project. Straightening the curve is a big and complex operation that will make a safer and more efficient highway for travelers and freight. We’re starting now with clearing the trees to avoid impacting bird nesting season, which begins in March.”

About eight acres of marketable trees will be removed, and the timber is expected to sell for $125,000. By law, these funds will be returned to the state highway fund. The U.S. 20 PME: UPRR to Eddyville Project will create five-and-a-half miles of new road, bypassing a 10-mile section of the original U.S. 20 that was built in 1917. Safety will be improved with two lanes of travel that include wide shoulders and passing lanes, eliminating the old route’s very curvy sections and visual barriers.

The project website can be found at www.us20pme.com.