New Paving on West Hickory Road, Open to Public

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”

Motorists still need to slow down in the area of a Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad crossing, which is yet to be upgraded.HickCr2

: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.