Plans have been drawn up, contracts are signed, and now the concrete change begins on the main corridor and downtown district of David City.
City officials met with Leo A Daly designers and Constructors Inc. representatives on May 18 to set the stage for the Downtown Renovation Project and the seven blocks of reconstruction along Nebraska 15. It’s the city's biggest capitol project in decades. Constructors Inc. of Lincoln is the city's contractor for the combined $9 million in renovations.
Barricades start going up Thursday, June 1 at C Street and Iowa Street on Nebraska 15 (Fourth Street). Nebraska Department of Roads and city crews will begin removing their signs and also the city’s light poles.
Lead designer Al Hottovy said that crews will begin staging materials along the highway, and on June 5, weather permitting, the street will be torn out and the paths prepared for large storm sewer lines to carry runoff from the Courthouse Square.
The entire project encompasses new streets and sidewalks and underground infrastructure for the highway from Iowa to the railroad tracks, and in the downtown area. Weather permitting, completion is expected by Dec. 1, 2018.
“The plan right now is to completely get Highway 15 done this year,” Hottovy said. “And get E street from Third to Fourth done, and E Street from Fifth to Sixth, weather permitting.”
As for the rest of the streets around the courthouse and on Fifth Street, the water mains will be installed by directional boring through the winter months. The streets will remain intact until the removal of the bricks -- for sorting and reuse – starting in the late winter months.
Directional boring of the water mains will require some trenching, and there will be patches of sidewalk removed to give crews access to hook up individual water lines to each property. As for the downtown street construction, don’t expect to see much of that after the fall weather turns cold.
“We don’t want to look at opening half a street when we are getting 40 degrees or less,” Hottovy said.
Street surfacing and sidewalk replacement will come after the underground work. “We’ve got to get the storm sewer and the water in before we put the paving in,” Hottovy said.
The Daly firm will be sending newsletters every two weeks to the property owners affected by ongoing construction, and updates will be provided to The Banner-Press to inform the public about upcoming changes.
The city’s Immediate Response Information System, or IRIS, will be utilized to help update the public as well. Residents can register to receive IRIS alerts on the city website or by contacting the city office.
In some cases, the construction crews will be installing temporary surfaces to help customers get to businesses. He said the first businesses to be affected will be along the highway around the corner of Fourth and D streets.
“First National Bank is concerned and so is Runza,” Hottovy said. “ We will talk to them one to one. We will be here if we have to put rock down (for customer access).”
Hottovy said NDOR will have signs set up at intersections north and south of town to divert semi traffic to other highways around David City. Other through traffic will find a Nebraska 15 detour east to Sixth Street at Iowa Street on the south and D Street on the north.
Trucks that are delivering goods into David City will be allowed into town. Hottovy said that he expects to see some unofficial detours develop.
Butler County Sheriff Marcus Siebken said traffic will go up on other roads.
“I plan on seeing an increased amount of traffic on County Road O between Nebraska Highway 92 and the Bruno blacktop to bypass the construction,” Siebken said. “My advice to the motoring public is remember that if you are going to detour on county roads, remember to watch your speed, stay on your side and if it has rained, remember the roads will be soft typically around the edge of the county road.”
Slowing down will be the key.
“We all know that road construction can be frustrating but remember to have patience and watch out for the workers,” Siebken said. “BCSO will have an increased amount of patrol, and remember during construction, if workers are present, speeding fines double.”
As the project neared, changes developed in earlier plans. One was what to do with all the concrete that will be removed. The Butler County Board of Supervisors earlier had agreed to have the old concrete from streets and sidewalks hauled to a county site. The plan was to use the large chunks for riprap along eroded stream banks.
The plan now includes grinding up old concrete and asphalt materials for re-use. A site has been secured southwest of David City for the grinding process.
The county will get the concrete material torn up from the courthouse sidewalks and parking lots.
After the highway work is completed, crews can focus on the areas to the east of Nebraska 15. Courthouse parking lots and the sidewalks and curbs around the courthouse will be completed. Hottovy said that Fifth Street, E and D Streets will have some extra challenges as crews need to replace aging sewer lines along with the water mains, electric lines, lighting and storm drainage.
The process has to be coordinated for quality, he said.
“We have to be careful that we don’t make decisions that affect the quality of the project,” he said.
He acknowledged there is some anxiety among those who own property adjacent to the streets. But the start of construction also will bring some relief.
“When they start bringing in that 48-inch (storm drainage) pipe, they’re going to be excited,” Hottovy said. “It’s big.”