Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

Proposed detour concerns city leaders

LAUREL — City officials have some concerns with the Hwy 20 detour that has been put in place by the Nebraska Dept. of Roads.

Hwy 20 between Belden and Laurel will be closed to traffic next summer due to a bridge replacement along with repair work and resurfacing that will be completed on a second bridge.

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

Laurel Economic Development Coordinator Luke Virgil expressed his concern on the possible economic impact the detour could have on Laurel.

Virgil had talked to the Engineer at the NE Dept. of Roads about the proposed detour. City Administrator Mark McCoy and County Commissioner Jerry Wiese had also made contact with the Dept. of Roads.

“It does not look like anything will be changed at the NE Dept. of Roads. At the end of the day we were left with the detour around Laurel on Hwy 57 and 59,” Virgil said.

Virgil suggested putting up signs on Hwy 59 and 20 notifying people that it is just a short distance into Laurel.

“It might bring some people in to town,” Virgil said.

Construction is moving ahead on Agrex, a grain merchandising company located in Laurel’s Industrial Park, in spite of the cold weather.

Preparations are in place for pouring the concrete to complete the workhouse – a complex of six smaller bins. November 18 is the scheduled date to start pouring concrete.

Work on Phase Two of the Industrial Park Project will include installing some street lights along the new pavement according to McCoy.

“The seeding is still scheduled along the street yet this fall,” McCoy said.

The county has widened 870 Road from the drainage ditch west to the now closed 571 Ave.

The box culvert from the drainage ditch to the Logan Creek will be installed next spring at a cost of $140,000.

“It will be paid for with TIF money received from Agrex,” McCoy said.

Water rates will be going up for city residents and businesses.

Board members approved Ordinance #539 which will raise the water rates up to 25 cents per 1,000 lbs.

 Pick up this week’s issue of the Laurel Advocate to read more!