Production of another version of the Street Outlaws franchise will start this Thursday on Highway 26 between Mitchell and Scottsbluff, with the roadway being reduced to head-to-head traffic starting at 6 p.m.
Local Officials have told KNEB News that during the three to five nights a week of production all traffic in an area between Experiment Farm and Cook Oil Roads would be stopped during filming of the racing scenes for safety reasons.
Last Wednesday at a special Scotts Bluff County Board meeting approving the special event through Oct. 12, Ron Carr with Pilgrim Media told commissioners while the original production site on Highway 71 just south of Gering had some 250 residential properties nearby, the impact of the new site should be somewhat reduced. “it looks like in close proximity there’s at least 30 houses, a lot of them on at least a half-acre or acre, and then there are some farms that are spread out,” said Carr. “You (commissioners) probably know better, but there’s probably about 40 houses.”
Whether the film production would take place on Highway 26 was in doubt through much of last Thursday and Friday, as state transportation officials had wanted closure or lane reduction on the roadway to start no earlier than 8 p.m., which Carr indicated could be a problem for the production schedule. Officials say after a series of conversations, all involved settled on the new plan for lane restrictions and starting times.
As a backup in case the Highway 26 location could not be used, both Carr and Pilgrim Media Operations production manager Kyle Leonard appeared in front of the Kimball County Board earlier this past week, and were given approval for a site in that county that Carr said had a slight grade that made it less than optimal, but it was an option.
For those living in the area of the new production site, Leonard told Scotts Bluff commissioners there could be accommodations if residents found the overnight filming to be too disturbing. “In past events, if the noise really is keeping someone up, we have offered to get a hotel room somewhere else to put them up to take care of them,” said Leonard. “We want to make sure they’re comfortable, (but) we ask that they give it a night, see how it is and if it’s something they absolutely can’t deal with, we have offered that in the past.”
Officials tells KNEB News that in the case of the production south of Gering during mid-August to early September, at least two offers for such accommodations were made, but neither were accepted.
Carr said the Discovery Channel has been seeking as much new content as they can get from Pilgrim, which was part of the reasoning for the new location. He said in addition, some of the racers who took part in the initial filming would be involved in the new production, and a different location would even the playing field for new competitors.
Carr also told Scotts Bluff County officials that while it was unlikely, the production company might find the need to use the Highway 71 location south of Gering over the next few weeks, and the Kimball County location would also be an option if needed.