When the weather finally cooperates, work will start on two major highway projects on the Heartland Expressway – one in Nebraska and the other in South Dakota.
Work had been slated to start Monday on widening Hwy 385 to 4 lanes north of Angora and on replacing a box culvert and repaving Hwy 18/385 from Oelrichs to the Smithwick turnoff, but didn’t because of the Sunday snowstorm.
The Panhandle project is the largest at $32-million dollars and 14 miles from the L62A junction north to the existing 4-lane section south of Alliance.
Nebraska Dept of Transportation District 5 Engineer Doug Hoevet says the project will follow the pattern used on the other 4-lane Heartland Expressway segments in the Panhandle.
The new lanes will be built and traffic switched onto them while the existing 2 lanes will be repaved, The contractor, IHC-Scott of Colorado is slated to finish the work in the fall of next week.
The $7.9-million dollar South Dakota project by contractor Bituminous Paving of Minnesota covers 10 miles of the southbound lanes with total reconstruction planned in 3 areas including the box culvert replacement. Work should be done by the end of Oct.
Southbound traffic will crossover to the northbound lanes for the 10 miles, so drivers are asked to be prepared for the use of flaggers, a grooved surface, 12-foot width restrictions, and suddenly slowing, merging, or stopping traffic.