Detours Disappear, New Streets Open

4 Jan 2016

Residents of Holdrege can finally travel through town without dodging detours.


Construction was completed in November on a new Highway 6 & 34 east entrance to the city. Business owners in that area were glad to have traffic cruising in front of their businesses again and to have a beautiful new highway and sidewalks with decorative brick.


When visitors enter Holdrege from the east, they now see a “thriving and prosperous looking community,” Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carol Rapstine said. “When you pull into a rural town with a highway full of cracks and potholes, you get the sense that no one cares, no one is doing anything to make improvements. So for Holdrege, it’s clear to see that we are a community that is working very hard to make improvements and keep our community looking up-to-date, clean and attractive. This makes people want to come here to visit, shop, eat and maybe even move here.”


The highway was closed from the east edge of Holdrege to East Avenue beginning in April.


Dale Geiselman, co-owner of Napa Auto Parts, said he learned to appreciate his business’s prime location on the highway.


“When it’s gone, it makes a big difference,” he said. “We are grateful to have the highway open again so we have some traffic going through.”


The chamber coordinated a grand re-opening celebration of the highway Nov. 9-13. Businesses offered free meals, prizes and specials throughout the week.


Rapstine said the next phase of the 6 & 34 project has now been pushed back to the spring of 2018.


She said business owners should start preparing now for that project by setting aside funds for additional advertising campaigns and specials that will draw customers in to their stores and restaurants.


Construction also began on a project to repave 11th Avenue from Burlington to Arthur last summer, and that project wrapped up as 2015 ended.


Downtown Sidewalk Update

A downtown sidewalk and lighting project began in October with the reconstruction of sidewalks on West Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets and the installation of new street lights.


Chamber Director Carol Rapstine said work was a little behind schedule as 2015 ended, and crews were planning to start work on East Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Avenues in the spring of 2016 and finish before Swedish Days.


East and West Avenues between Third and Fourth Avenues are now scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2016.


The City of Holdrege and a state grant funded this part of the project, while PCDC provided funding for the first phase, facade improvements.