17J Road Work Scheduled to Begin March 23
March 17, 2021
GERING — Weather permitting, work will begin March 22 on L-17J, according to the Nebraska Department of Transportation.
Paulsen, Inc., of Cozad, Neb., has the $12,700,000 contract. Work includes grading with soil stabilization, pavement replacement, median surfacing, new storm drains, bridge decking, guardrails, electric work, pavement markings and signs, and earth shouldering with seeding. Work will take place from L-17J/Old Post Road junction onto US-30 west and east to US-385.
Traffic will be maintained with lane closures, flaggers, and reduced speed restrictions. Anticipated completion is November 2021.
Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously in and near work zones, to buckle up, and to put phones down.
The City of Sidney is responsible for 20 percent of the cost, estimated at almost $2.5 million, according to City Manager David Scott's presentation during the March 9 council meeting.
During that meeting, the council discussed enhancing the project, making the medians more aesthetically attractive. One suggestion the council discussed at an earlier meeting is using colored or stamped bricks in the new medians on the 17J Link. In the March 9 meeting, Scott said he contacted Paulsen Inc., for an estimate on the cost increase with red-stamped brick in the median. The price for a red brick stamped median would increase from $55 per square yard to $69.10 per square yard, and increase of $14.10 per square yard for an additional cost of $141,155.10. Imprinting the planned median surface would costs an estimated $2.15 per square yard or $21,523.65 with annual maintenance costs and power washing and sealing every two years. Maintenance costs are estimated at $30,000 for each power washing and sealing.
In the March 9 meeting, mayor Roger Gallaway said he sees enhancing the medians as a way to tie the south side of Sidney to downtown, using the highway project for economic development.
“I see this as an opportunity to take something existing and make it better,” Gallaway said.
The council expects to have public comment on the proposed upgrade of the medians during the March 23 council meeting.