North Bend Eagle


Road work on Hwy. 79
This shot, taken from the bluff north of North Bend, shows the temporary roads built while the bridges on Highway 79 are being replaced. There are six such bypasses in the four mile stretch north of North Bend, and one south of Morse Bluff.

Crews are well ahead of expected pace on road repairs

by Mary Le Arneal
published 8/27/08

• Four-way stoplight to be installed at 11th and Main soon.

The road construction on Highway 79 north of North Bend has been 61 percent completed in 25 percent of the time allowed. So said Micky Jacobs, Nebraska Department of Road (NDOR) project manager.

“Three of six reinforced concrete culverts north of town are completed,” Jacobs said. “If all goes well, the fourth will be done Friday and the last two later this week or early next week.”

Once the boxes are done, the roads over them will be constructed. Mike Collins, owner of M.E. Collins Contracting Co., Inc. from Wahoo, the company that is doing the work, said that the first three or four temporary roads should be out of service by the third week of September. Jacobs said Collins is still on schedule to have the project done by the end of the year. Asphalt covering the entire road will be laid down next summer.

Jacobs said the alignment at the intersection of Main and 11th streets is not 100 percent done, but residents can get a good feel for it. At that point the road takes a slight jog, and the new alighment will make that jog more gradual.

That same intersection will also be getting a new four-way stop light. The contractor installing the four-way stop will be there within a week. The stoplight will have magnetic vehicle detectors on 11th Street that will detect traffic and stop Highway 79 traffic for the local traffic to cross. There will also be a push-button pedestrian cross walk.

Full depth repair work on Hwy. 79/Main Street downtown is complete and work has continued north down Main Street. Jacobs reminded residents that the state’s right-of-way goes to the edge of the sidewalk, so when sprinkler heads are on public property, there may have been problems. Other that that, Jacobs said there has been very few problems.

Once the workers are done with the full depth concrete, probably in two weeks, they will return downtown and do partial depth repairs all the way to 14th Street. This is done with a different machine and different concrete, so it was necessary to do at a different time from the full depth repairs. This process should not take very long.

Jacobs said Collins “hit the town with an army, “ working to finish the contract ahead of schedule.

“The only deadline he has is to be done in town by Nov. 1 and have the first two bridges in service by Nov. 1” Jacobs said. “The other date is June 1. Mike put enough personnel and resources to be done with the whole project by Nov. 1.”

Collins is a hands-on employer, on the job site daily to keep abreast of the situations and problems as they arise. Jacobs said there has been very few issues, and those were resolved.

“The people of North Bend have gone out of their way to be accommodating,” Jacobs said.

He gave the example of school busses turning on 9th rather than 14th street. Jacobs said the crew is also mindful of the community needs, allowing for funerals and planning on special allowances for upcoming football traffic.

“There have been a lot of little things no one notices,” Jacob said, “but they really help out. Mike and I have noticed these on both sides of the road.”

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