Diamond in the rough
I couldn't agree more with the board that highway 83 is a diamond in the rough. I would however, suggest that the importance of the highway in the next decade or so is more likely to be connected to the oil boom in North Dakota.
As far as the pounding of the highway, the hay loads barely make it to the legal weight limit. On the other hand, these strange loads that you see coming through town with multiple axles and flag cars are drilling rigs, or support equipment for the industry.
They are operating within the legal limits set for the number of axles that they have. There are many that are specially permitted, though, as they are overwidth or heavier than the average truck that is grossing the more common 80,000 pound limit.
Take a look at the asphalt highways in the Rocky-Mountain region that are major routes for the multi- axle heavy haulers. It seems that these western states have come up with vehicle combinations that are agreeable to all, but it also appears that asphalt highways, that are in areas that get as hot as we do, have problems with the ruts. It is a trade off that everyone lives with, but concrete can solve that issue.
The freight that moves between Denver and Rapid would pale by comparison to the freight that would move up and down Highway 83 if it was a concrete super 2. There would be an increase of truck traffic, but it is, after all, a profession, not a crime.
We can dream of what a super 2 would do for us, but I have always wondered why we don't make any attempt to capitalize on the traffic we already have. McCook is becoming quite a destination for evening dining. If we created some parking for trucks and snow birds, we could develop quite a reputation. Signage directing potential customers to ample public parking would reap immediate benefits in my opinion.
I would hope that any representative of ours that sought funding for a project such as this, would not be given some derogatory name by some of our more visible label makers. Might depend on which way they lean I suspect.