Concrete Solutions Brings Positive Vibe to Downtown Road Project

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Four months ago, a jackhammer broke into the concrete on Fourth and East avenues kicking off a season of detours, sidewalk closings, water shut-offs and other dilemmas for area residents and business owners.

But through it all, the Concrete Solutions 2018 team has been communicating construction updates to help area business owners and residents find their way around the mess. And, the good news is that construction is now half-way complete, and a new road and sidewalks will soon help showcase the town in a more positive light.

Concrete Solutions 2018 is led by staff and volunteers from the Phelps County Development Corporation (Carley Bruning) and the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce (Allison Fritsche and Jawna Kuck). The group has conducted meetings for those affected by the construction to give and receive information and has kept communication open via the ConcreteSolutions2018 Facebook page. They also worked with downtown business owners to place their logos on a sign at the corner of Fourth and Burlington and they post #DestinationDowntown promotions and #HighwayHighFives on social media.

Construction Surprises

The biggest challenge with phase two has been the sidewalks, Carley said.

“With the weather and setbacks related to the project, business owners haven’t had have much notice about their sidewalks being torn up and how long it would be until customers could access their front entrances,” she said.

Drew Wilson, District 7 Construction Engineer for Nebraska Department of Transportation, said the wetter-than-normal spring and summer and surprises like hitting unexpected water lines have caused some delays. But, the contractor (Paulsen Inc.) has worked aggressively to get back on schedule.

Wilson predicted a November completion date for the project, as long as more significant weather delays don’t occur.

Intersection Open

The intersections at East and Fourth and west and Fourth avenues opened in July for vehicles travelling north and south making it easier for traffic to move downtown.

Although the intersection is open, Wilson said the road will still remain closed as pavement markings, lighting and traffic signals still need to be finished.

Now that the downtown area is paved, construction has moved west, and work has started at the intersection of Highway 6 & 34 and Highway 183. Temporary traffic signals have been installed in that area, and it will be limited to one lane of traffic at times.

Wilson said the partnership with the Concrete Solutions team has created a positive vibe about the project, and he is grateful for the support.

“Allison and the folks at PCDC were super helpful,” Wilson said. “They created the Concrete Solutions to avoid some of the miscommunications that occurred last time and helped create some things that are business friendly.”

In addition to encouraging local residents to patronize downtown businesses in the construction zone, Carley also encourages drivers to slow down and to watch out for construction workers.

To stay up to date on the latest highway construction news, follow Concrete Solutions 2018-Holdrege Highway Project on Facebook.

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