BEATRICE – It was once a dusty road pounded by big trucks. It’s now a nine-inch thick concrete surface, open for public travel.
A more than four-mile stretch of West Hickory Road was opened to the traveling public last Friday, after a summer-long reconstruction project that now connects U.S. Highway 77 with fertilizer manufacturing facilities northwest of Beatrice. The new road has a 55-mile-per-hour speed limit.
Gage County Supervisor Terry Jurgens says there’s still some related finishing work to do, but the public can drive on the road, again.
:14 “this whole time”
:07 “the railroad”
Jurgens credited County Highway Superintendent Galen Engel for his work on the project. The contractor was Paulsen Construction, of Cozad. Jurgens says he’s gotten a lot of positive public feedback on the new road.
The county financed the project with a combination of inheritance tax revenue and road and bridge sinking funds, with the potential for a small fuel-tax funded bond issue. The nearly 4.2 miles of new pavement cost about $4.5 million.