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Proposal To Move US Highway 136 Heard By Beatrice City Council

The Beatrice City Council Monday heard a proposal for rerouting US Highway 136 from Court Street downtown, a block south to Market. The option would divert traffic just past Second, and rejoin Court near the Eighth Street intersection. A Lincoln engineering firm, Olsson and Associates, addressed the issue, which first surfaced in response to a 2011 study by RDG Planning that suggested downtown revitalization would better be accomplished directing heavy traffic, especially truck traffic, from the central corridor. Key issues were covered. Among those, environmental impact would be minimal, and there is no existing safety or capacity concerns with such a move. The largest obstacle is the parking garage along US Highway 77, which they recommended removing, allowing right of way access, and opening additional property for redevelopment. That would cost an estimated $900,000.

Consideration with maintaining the historic character of the downtown, keeping its cultural and architectural elements intact would be critical. Downtown business owners spoke against the move at the meeting, reinforcing their concerns that decreased visibility and traffic would adversely affect their business. The total project is estimated at $5 million. No action was taken, as Mayor Dennis Schuster advised that the idea was something that was funded through a grant, and that any changes wouldn’t begin anytime soon. He asked the question that in spending a large sum of money, what would be invested back into the community.

About Bruce Dierking

Bruce Dierking owns and operates Dierking Communications, Inc. with stations KNDY/KNDY FM Marysville, KS since 1988, KQNK/KQNK FM Norton, KS since 1999, and KDNS FM/KZDY FM Glen Elder since 2008. A fifth generation native of Marshall County, and a 1980 graduate of Marysville High School, he began a broadcasting career working part time at the age of 14 for Herb and Ruby Hoeflicker at KNDY. After attending Colby, Kansas Community College, with a major in business and broadcasting, Dierking returned to his hometown covering sports and sales, now having served as the voice of the Marysville Bulldogs, as well as area teams for over 35 years. Active in various leadership roles, he has served as President with the Marysville Jaycees, President of the Kansas Jaycees, and National Vice President with the US Jr Chamber of Commerce. He has been a board member, and past President of the Marysville Chamber of Commerce, served many years as Vice President of Marshall County Development Corporation, served 8 years on the Kansas Association of Broadcasters including Secretary/Treasurer, Chair Elect, and Chairman of the board. He has twice served terms on the Good Shepherd Lutheran School Board serving as President, and held several leadership roles with Mt Calvary Lutheran Church, serving as congregation Chairman. He, his wife Lesa, and daughter Allison are active in many community activities, contributing to, providing publicity for, and volunteering. He is currently active with the Marysville Historic Depot restoration project, serving as Vice President. A mentor to many in the broadcasting industry, Dierking continues an active role in station operations, on the air with the morning show each day, traveling many nights to cover ballgames, and present covering local events for news broadcasts. He is passionate about his community, and the rural midwest. An active historian, genealogy, community development, Kansas and architectural history are among interests. Dierking enjoys travel, having visited nearly every state, and several foreign countries. He is a fan of music, and enjoys reading.