By Kellen Olshefski


Councilmembers opted in favor of holding off on the installation of emergency vehicle preemption devices at the two traffic signals at the Interstate 43 and Highway 67 intersections at a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday. The decision came after learning the Department of Transportation said it would install them at no cost to the city during a proposed 2020 project.

Monday night’s vote is not a final decision, as the topic will have to come before the Council again for final approval, though the devices did receive support from all councilmembers.

The full Council had shown support for the project earlier this month, which would have come at an estimated cost of about $29,000.

However, City of Elkhorn Public Works Manager Matt Lindstrom said Monday that after approaching the DOT about designing the project, they discussed a future project slated at the I-43 and Highway 67 intersection.

Lindstrom said that in 2020, the DOT plans to make improvements along this stretch of I-43 as well as the on and off ramps to Highway 67. As such, Lindstrom said the DOT would incorporate the EVP system at the two intersections at no cost to the City.

“The downside is that we’d have to wait until 2020, their anticipated construction date, but they would pay for it,” Lindstrom said.

In light of the new information, councilmembers supported waiting for the DOT to incorporate it into its project rather than spend the $29,000 to complete it sooner.

Inclusion of the EVP system at the O’Connor Drive and Highway 67 intersection will still go as planned when those traffic lights are installed in 2019 as part of the TID 4 roadway improvement project.

Alderman Scott McClory noted that when it comes to outfitting city emergency vehicles with the equipment, he would still like to proceed as planned, ensuring that when the EVP traffic lights are up and running, city emergency vehicles are already outfitted and ready.

A motion to recommend holding off on the two intersections to the Council was approved unanimously.


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