Severe weather delays, creates road repairs

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The severe weather we had a few months ago has taken a toll on some current construction projects, and created some unexpected ones.

There's two major projects the city is continuing from last summer: One is on Stolley Park Road, and the other the Sycamore Underpass. Both of them have taken a little longer to finish, due to the crazy weather we've had.

"We have some contingency built into projects, but yes, we were running later than we had planned," said John Collins, Grand Island public works director. "We actually did some concrete work very late in the season, because it was warm, but the rest of the time more than made up for any progress we made there."

There are two projects happening right now on Stolley Park Road: One part is a reconfiguration project, which is what the city started last season. Crews will be done re-striping the street in about two weeks.

The second project includes adding handicap ramps to each intersection. That part just started, and will take several months.

The other major project is at the Sycamore Underpass. Workers began construction there last summer. They finished demolition last week, and poured down the foundation. Now, they're putting the pieces back together.

While these projects were planned, the city now has some unplanned ones.

"Right now we're doing good. Rain means we can't work in general, so that slows us down. It's been rainy. To make it worse the winter had a lot of hot-cold cycles, and it really hurt all of our streets badly. So we're spending a lot of our time repairing streets," Collins said.

Some of those spots are on Diers Avenue and Webb Road. That's part of the reason for road repairs along Schimmer Drive as well, which closed Monday. The other reason being heavy truck traffic along that road.

Collins said many of the roads are fixed now, but could require larger reconstruction projects in the future.

As for the rest of the summer, you may not see as many new construction projects as last year. The city is still in the planning phase for those.

Schimmer Drive is closed from Gold Core Road through Blaine Street until May 16.