The city’s one and six-year road plan was approved unanimously at the Beatrice City Council meeting on Monday night.
The one and six-year road plan is a report the state of Nebraska requires the city of Beatrice to file each year with the Department of Transportation to show how money is being spent on street repair. The plan lays out a road map for upcoming street projects. After being approved by the Beatrice Board of Public Works on Jan. 31, the plan was sent to the city council for final approval.
While the first two years outlined in the plan are pretty good indicators of where the city plans to go with construction, the following four years have some room to adjust what could be on the schedule in the future.
In 2018, the city has two concrete reconstruction projects scheduled for the summer, one on Bell Street from 10th to 12th street, and the other is Summit Street from Seventh to Ninth street. It's estimated that both projects will cost a little over $300,000.
There are also mill and overlay projects scheduled on the truck route on Ella Street from Third up to Sixth street, and an asphalt project on the west side of Beatrice in a redevelopment project that will be paid for using Tax Increment Financing.
Highway 77 will be the big project for 2018, stretching from Industrial Row and running all the way to Pickrell. The city’s responsibility stops at the corner of Hickory Road, and all of the construction will be performed by the state. The construction on Highway 77 is designed, bid out and managed by the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and the city pays the bill for the work performed.
Initial state estimates for Beatrice’s share of the project were around $950,000, but City Engineer James Burroughs said that when the state went out for a bid on the project, they came back with an estimate of $1.45 million, or about $500,000 more than the original estimate.
Burroughs said that City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer worked with the state and the remaining $500,000 would be paid for with a contingency fund that would pay $100,000 each of the next five years.
“They'll come in and do patch repair on the areas they feel are bad,” Burroughs said. “So, you'll see them cut certain areas out, pull that concrete out, pour concrete back.”
When the added expense comes in, he said, it is a process to repair cracks in the roadway.
“They're going to shoot an oil down that has fiberglass strands in it that are four inches long, basically,” he said. “That's so they can kind of span all those cracks, and then they'll come with an armor coat over the top of that.”
Following that treatment, the state will overlay the roadway with two or three inches of asphalt.
Looking down the road to the sixth year in the plan, officials are preparing for a project that Street Superintendent Jason Moore said will fix numerous drainage issues the city has had along 19th Street.
“I think we've all probably seen the flooded intersections through there,” Moore said. “I think we stepped back and we told ourselves, OK, if we're going to do this, maybe we need to put this out at year six so that we can start saving for it, knowing that if we're going to do this, we need to start at storm sewers.”
Spanning the stretch of 19th Street, between Court and Lincoln streets, the project would be threefold. The concrete road would be reconstructed, ADA-compliant curb ramps would be replaced and the storm sewer would be upgraded with new pipe, manholes and inlets. A new detention cell would help prevent the drainage channel that runs past the Big Blue Water Park from overflowing with the excess storm water flowing from 19th Street into it.
Overall, it’s a big, expensive project, Burroughs said, but it would fix a drainage problem that’s plagued the city for more than 50 years.
“It is and it will be a large project,” Moore said. “But the storm sewer is something that we have to fix. You can't just fix the concrete.”