The Tournament begins today at 10 a.m. at the Sports Arena. What excitement - a week's worth of watching the top 24 teams in NJCAA Division 1 men’s basketball right here in Hutchinson.

This is the 70th year the city has hosted the event which is coordinated by the American Legion Lysle Rishel Post #68.

Someone wrote Ask Hutch, “why isn’t The News reporting on the big basketball tournament?” Well, if you mean the one that begins today we had a special section on Saturday and the front page on Sunday and today cover the event. Or do you mean the NCAA that took up the entire front page of our sports section for several days?

Thanks for this week’s questions and please continue to reach out to askhutch@hutchnews.com. I love hearing from everyone.

Q:11th Street is four lanes just east of K-61 Highway to Lorraine St. then it's two lanes to Severance, then four lanes to Plum. This is a bottleneck for traffic to and from all the improvements between Severance and Plum. Does the city have any plans to make the area four lanes or an improved three lanes?

I checked with Hutchinson's city engineer extraordinaire Bruce Colle for this answer. He thought it was a good question and said the answer had two parts. He even explains what an arterial and a collector are in regards to traffic flow.

Part one: 11th from K-61 to Lorraine and Lorraine north to 30th is a four-lane section called an arterial. The purpose of an arterial is to move traffic from destination to destination in an expedient manner. It is based on a traffic study that has shown that more vehicles move from K-61 west to Lorraine then north to 30th.

Part Two: You will find arterials adjacent to high destination areas. In this instance, a commercial corridor along 11th and Lorraine, including the hospital plus vehicular destinations to the industrial corridor adjacent to 30th. Lorraine to Severance is called a collector. A collector is adjacent to residential areas, and they collect traffic to send it to the arterials.

“ Yes, from Severance to Plum you move to the arterial resulting from Hutchinson High School, the Sports Arena, and Hutchinson Community College eventually to Plum which becomes an arterial north of 11th. Meanwhile, 11th west of Plum converts back to a collector taking vehicles to Main. I’m dizzy! But I hope this is understandable to your reader,” Colle said.

Q: Why has Legacy Bible Church moved from their location on Hendricks to a location on 30th, which I think is Central Christian School?

Victor Halfmoon, the pastor of Legacy Bible Church, and a faith columnist for The Hutchinson News, had a succinct answer.

“While the gifting of the Hendricks building was a wonderful blessing, Central Christian School provides for better stewardship of God’s resources and more fruitful support toward other important areas of ministry,” Halfmoon said.

 Q: Why is the county stockpiling dirt in their maintenance area at Hendricks and 56th?

The dirt is stockpiled because of overlaying projects.

“The road crew shoulders the road with dirt- because we raise the road to prevent a drop-off,” said Reno County Public Works Superintendent Don Brittain.

Q: When does the Hendricks road project start, how much of the stretch are they working on, and when is it supposed to be completed? Don Brittain said the project should begin in April. They plan on overlaying from 22 Avenue north to 82 Avenue, which is, about 4.5 miles. He estimates it will probably take one week.

“All total we are paving 50.5 miles around the county this year,’ he said.

Around Reno County, they will stockpile dirt for these projects as they clean ditches. That’s why the dirt is at 56th and Hendricks.

Hope to hear from you this week - write to askhutch@hutchnews.com