Gage County Board adds paving under prior construction contract

BEATRICE – Gage County Supervisors have voted to add paving work on North 1st Road north of Beatrice and West Pickrell Road, under terms of a prior contract with Pavers, Inc.

The board voted 7-0 Wednesday to add a half-mile of paving on North 1st Road from Juniper Road to Hickory road…..and three miles of the stretch west of Pickrell, which is west of U.S. Highway 77.  The additional cost estimated at over $700,000…would be stretched into the county’s next budget year.

Board member Gary Lytle offered the motion to approve the work, saying the contract addition would work over two budget years.
"I'm not a big fan of it, but if you go by the numbers they've given us at this point saving roughly $23,000 a mile...we're saving about enough to cover one mile. By doing the roughly nine miles you're saving about $207,000, if you use their numbers. When they actually start bidding next year, I'll be curious to see if there is actually an increase, or not."

County officials have expressed concern about potential future increases in bid prices and the cost of oil and materials. Supervisor Emily Haxby said being able to pay for the work over two budget periods is a plus.

"I think it's great that they're letting us do it in both budgets. But, with the increased costs and I don't see it going down anytime soon...and the fact that we're kind of at the edge or limit of the Pickrell Road without doing something...I think we need to try to make it work."

The vote adds about 4.5 miles of paving work when included with a prior extension of contract. The county’s highway department had taken traffic counts in the past two weeks on both stretches of roadway that will be resurfaced. Road and Bridge Chairman Terry Jurgens said the data shows North 1st is more heavily traveled.

"Basically, the roads out north of Beatrice average anywhere from 300 to 450 vehicles per day. Pickrell West is 148."

The contract addition was based on estimated paving costs, but did not include patching work beforehand……which it typically done by county highway department forces.