The Alliance City Council is looking to address alternative street projects on the one- and six-year street program after learning the Nebraska Department of Transportation backed out of a street improvement project on Third Street from Cody Avenue, to the east side of Alliance.
Public Works Director Ross Grant reviewed the history of the proposed Third Street improvement project, noting it was divided into three segments.
“It was let in October, and the bids came back significantly higher than the state had anticipated,” said Grant. “It was bid and let again here in January, and again, it came back higher than the state anticipated, and they decided to not proceed with that project. The majority of that project will not take place this year, with the exception of the underpass section.”
Grant noted that the state will foot the bill for the entire cost of the underpass project, with no expense to the city. The project will involve a complete removal of the existing concrete and repouring new concrete.
“It’s not a mill and overlay,” Grant said. “There are some problems with that section of the road that don’t allow for that. It should be a really good quality replacement of what we have existing.”
Mayor Mike Dafney noted that the city’s share of the Third Street project was approximately $1.3 million. He said he believes that money should be used to improve other streets in the city.
“We could use this money,” said Dafney. “We didn’t do any street repair last year at all. We don’t have any budgeted this year at all. We’ve got streets that need to be done. We’ve got potholes and things, and instead of filling the potholes, I’d like to, hopefully, see the mill taken off and the overlay done. I’m hoping that we can use some of this money.”
Dafney asked Grant to look at other streets for priorities for the city to address. Grant confirmed the city did not undertake any street improvement projects in order to prepare for the entire Third Street project.
“I think we had a great start prior to that,” Grant said. “We had something like 31 street projects that we had completed. We were moving, I think, in a really positive forward direction. I think it’s imperative that we continue to do that because the streets are just deteriorating. It’s just their natural attrition.”
Grant explained there are at least six projects on the six-year plan the city could put that money toward. He noted new projects could also be added to the plan later on, as long as the council hosts a public hearing before hand.
The council voted unanimously in favor of the one- and six-year street program being submitted to the state. Council members also approved a resolution entering into an agreement with the NDOT to move forward with the Third Street underpass improvement project, with construction set to take place this summer.