Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2013

Hwy 20 between Belden and Laurel to be closed next summer

LAUREL — Highway 20 between Belden and Laurel will be closed to traffic next summer due to a $1.8 million road project.

A bridge located a little over two miles east of Belden on Hwy 20 will be replaced. Another bridge which is approximately two miles west of Laurel will be repaired and resurfaced.

Both bridges are located over Logan Creek.

The project is based on the bridge ratings and conditions present on the two structures according to Greg Weinert, Neb. Dept. of Roads (NDOR).

“The bridge by Belden, which still has timber pilings, will be replaced,” Weinert said.

The bridge near Belden has poor ratings and is classified as structurally deficient.

The bridge by Laurel has average ratings and shows signs of moderate deterioration.

Funds for the project, which will come from federal and state sources, is estimated to cost $1.8 million.

“That amount is our best guess. It could be a little more or it could be less. We have been coming in very close with the estimates on our projects,” Weinert said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014 and is expected to be completed as early as fall of 2014.

A detour will be set up to accommodate traffic. The detour will extend four miles north from the Hwy 20/57 intersection near Belden, then turn east on Hwy 59 for six miles and go back south on Hwy 20/15 through Laurel.

“We have to put the detour on a state highway. We can not designate a gravel road for the detour,” Weinert said.

 

The highway will have to be closed due to the replacement of the bridge that is close to Belden.

Traffic may still be allowed during the repair work on the bridge by Laurel.

“The repair work on the bridge by Laurel may be done one-half at a time,” Weinert said.

A public information meeting for the project was held at the Community Learning Center at the Laurel School.

“It will be an inconvenience for people. You always mess with people with road construction,” Weinert said. “We have standards that have to be followed but we will do what we can to work with people.”

 

Some permanent property right acquisitions for right-of-way are anticipated. Temporary construction easements may be necessary at certain locations throughout the project area.

 

A traffic volume study which was done on US Hwy 20 between Belden and Laurel shows estimates of 1,740 vehicles per day in 2014. Traffic is expected to increase to 2,080 vehicles per day by 2034. The study shows 26 percent of the traffic will be heavy trucks.

“Studies with estimates of traffic from several previous years were looked at. We go back and look at how the traffic has increased over the years,” Weinert said. “The volume expected in 2014 is pretty close to what it is today.”

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