In the face of approaching winter, work on major rural roads in Lincoln County finally got underway on Oct. 23.
The contractor, Western Engineering, was supposed to start work no later than Sept. 4, but was delayed by floods that hit eastern Nebraska and destroyed roads last spring.
With harvest underway and the temperatures cooling, it might be difficult, even impossible, to finish the road work this fall.
However, asphalt overlays on two lanes have been applied to Platte Valley and Splinter roads, County Road Supervisor Carla O’Dell said Monday, Nov. 4.
Four miles of West Walker, from the Hershey-Dickens Road to Range Road, are complete, and one lane is finished on the next four miles from Range to Wagon Trail Road, O’Dell said.
Motorists are asked to follow the detour signs and be extremely cautious if they have to use a road under construction to reach a residence or farm field.
O’Dell said Western Engineering crews are working from sunup to sundown every day the weather permits.
In May, the commissioners approved nine projects – applying 2-3 inches of new asphalt to 35 miles of rural roads. The work is supposed to be finished Nov. 30, according to the contract.
County roads crews did the preparatory work – filling potholes and preparing the old surface — for the overlay. County workers will also finish the shoulders and paint lines on the new surfaces.
The overlays are aimed to repair steady deterioration of some key asphalt roads over the years, compounded by the harsh winter and sudden warm-up last spring, county officials said.
Up to $6 million is budgeted for the overlays, including a special bond of $3.5 million that will be paid off in five years. The commissioners also hired Woody Falkena, who recently retired from a career in road construction, to monitor the temperatures of the fresh asphalt.
O’Dell has said if the projects are delayed, another inch of overlay might be needed, or worse, rebuilding the entire road. She said each inch of overlay costs about $63,500 per mile.
10 miles of Ft. McPherson Road — 3-inch overlay, from south of Maxwell to south of Brady.
8.5 miles of E. State Farm Road — 2-inch overlay, west of State Spur 56A, south of Maxwell.
8 miles of W. Walker Road – 2-inch overlay from Wagon Trail to the Hershey-Dickens Road.
Splinter Road — 2-inch overlay for 1 mile, from U.S. Highway 30 north to Platte Valley Road.
Platte Valley Road — 2-inch overlay for 2 miles, from Splinter Road west to Front Road.
3 miles of W. Platte Valley Road from Front to Game Trail Rd.
1 mile of subdivision road for Prairie View Acres.
2.5 miles of subdivision road for Prairie View Estates, 3rd subdivision.