Local residents have been watching the rebuilding of four blocks of Nebraska 15 and hoping that it can be opened soon.
Well, it can, mostly, but not completely.
The City Council indicated at its Sept. 27 Committee of the Whole meeting that the barricades will not be removed for highway traffic at Iowa Street, but that cross traffic on Nebraska, A, B and C streets soon will be able to flow. The date of the cross traffic opening has not been specified.
Street Supervisor Sod Rech told the Council that there was a lot of concern about sending semis up to the newly completed C Street intersection and then having them travel east past Butler County Welding, which will also have the challenge of the street torn up to its west. Also, he said, A Street will need to be open for grain trucks traveling east to Frontier Cooperative's facility at Yanka.
Rech said that trucks, which are supposed to avoid coming through David City, have already caused some damage to the corner of Sixth and Iowa. Moving the detour to C Street would likely result in damage to other curbs that are run over by trailers.
Al Hottovy, the project manager for Leo A Daly of Omaha, agreed.
“The advantage of keeping the detour in place longer is that any damage done to curbs or city streets will be limited to areas already affected,” Hottovy said in the firm’s most recent update. “This will reduce the amount spent on these repairs once the project is completed.”
Council members also questioned whether the restriping of the highway to three lanes all the way south to Aquinas was planned.
“The roadway has been converted to three lanes as instructed by the Nebraska Department of Transportation,” Hottovy said. “Numerous case studies have shown that the transition from a 4-lane undivided highway to a 3-lane highway with a center turn lane has significantly reduced traffic accidents.”
Daly’s update stated that the work is progressing on the highway north of C Street, and weather permitting, the crews will begin installing parking areas on the west side of the street. Crews from VanKirk Brothers have installed storm sewer pipes beyond E Street.
Daly has encouraged citizens with questions to call if they need information.
Project Manager Al Hottovy 402.390.4493, Project Engineer Jon McCarville 402.390.4422 and Construction Observer Greg Goldman 402.681.9451