North Bend Eagle


Repair work on Main Street
Workers prepare the corner of Main and seventh street,
right outside Gambino's, for a new concrete ramp.

Repairs begin along Hwy. 79

by Mary Le Arneal
published 7/16/08

It may take a while and be an inconvenience, but the repair of Highway 79, including North Bend’s Main Street, are aimed at making a safer road.

Clark Camin, highway construction tech with the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDoR), said the road and portions of the sidewalks and sidewalk corners will be repaired to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, making the sidewalks accessible to handicapped individuals.

Camin said the whole road will not be torn up. This year pavement repairs will be done from the intersection of highways 30 and 79 to the top of the hill five miles north of town where the asphalt meets the concrete.

Finished corner
This completed corner, outside the Corner Cafe at Main Street and Highway 30, shows what all the street corners will soon look like to meet ADA standards.

Micky Jacobs, project manager out of the Fremont NDOR office, said that the repairs must be completed before new blacktop is laid down next summer. The blacktop project is scheduled to begin June 1, 2009, and will cover Highway 79 from the Platte River bridge to Snyder.

The bridges north of North Bend are all being widened with new box culverts and dirt shoulders. Jacobs said that the bridge and culvert at the County Road S intersection, one mile north of town, and the next bridge north of it are required to be completed and in service by Nov. 1, 2008.

“We don’t think those bridges could take another frost or freeze,” Jacobs said.

In town the sidewalks and roads will be repaired on one side of a block at a time. How long the road side will be closed will depend on how many repairs there are to do. Camin had a clipboard with 21 pages of repairs listed to do on Highway 79 in North Bend. Camin said the list was made two or three years ago, so there may be more repairs to do.

“There are a great number of pavement patches,” Jacobs said. “We are using a PR4 concrete that can be driven on as soon as four hours (after it is laid) as compared to seven days setting time required in the former concrete formula.”

Camin and Steve Snelling are out of the NDOR Fremont office. They will be in North Bend on a daily basis to inspect the work done by the contractor, M.E. Collins Contracting Co., Inc., of Wahoo.

Jacobs said that Collins is being very aggressive and hopes to be out of town by the first of August and have the project done by Nov. 1.

A visible change will be the intersection of Highway 79 and 11th Street. The curb will be realigned so traffic flows more smoothly where Main Street makes a slight ‘S’ curve. A new traffic signal will also be installed at that intersection which will include a vehicle detector on 11th Street. Jacobs said the new intersection alignment will allow a better field of view and make the intersection safer.

One request the NDOR had was that individuals living along Highway 79 with underground sprinklers mark the sprinkler heads with a flag to aid the workers and avoid damages.

There is also construction on Highway 79 south of Morse Bluff. A new bridge is being built to replace one built in 1956. The new concrete slab bridge will be longer and wider than the old one.

Ryan Hobelman is the NDOR project manager out of the Wahoo office. A.M. Cohron & Sons, Inc. of Columbus is the contractor. Hobelman said that because of the weather they are running two weeks behind.

“But this is not significant,” Hobelman said. “We expect to be done on time.”

The expected date of completion for the Morse Bluff South Bridge project is mid-September. Now the crew is working on replacing the bridge substructure. The concrete bridge will have a beam guard rail similar to the old one, but it will be longer.

North or south, construction is here for awhile, but when all is completed, the result will be a safer highway for area residents to travel.

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