Highway 75 Contracts Awarded

Contract awarded to upgrade busy highway 75 in Cass County. Six construction companies submitted bids for the major project that extends from just south of Plattsmouth’s Avenue B intersection northward across the Platte River to the Sarpy County line.

The Nebraska Department of Roads officially awarded the contract to Hawkins Construction of Omaha according to the Cassgram. The total bid: $61,458,725.

In August, the state had projected the cost at $68 million.

Since the contract was just awarded this week, NDOR officials have yet to sit down with planners from Hawkins to work out the many construction details and timeframes that will include lane and intersection closings affecting motorists through the construction zone. NDOR project manager Rick Fisher says he expects that meeting to happen later this month. After that he’ll have a pretty firm idea of what the commuting public can expect.

Fisher said Hawkins will soon start the clearing and grubbing of trees. The contract specifies a 1315 calendar day construction schedule starting April 4th. (The tree clearing work does not move up the official start date.) Hawkins could face liquidated damages if the project is not substantially completed within the 1315 day schedule.

The project will result in four lanes over the entire stretch. The Bay Road to Sarpy County portion will be classified as ‘freeway’ and the portion from Bay Road south classified as ‘expressway’ (on/off points allowed closer than a mile apart—at Club View Drive, Fulton Avenue and Avenue B.)

A new Bay Road intersection will be constructed and connecting roads realigned.

The northbound Platte River Bridge will be reconstructed and widened which will also allow for a potential bike trail.

The southbound Platte River Bridge will get a deck repair and overlay.

Temporary traffic signals will stop Highway 75 traffic at Bay Road during the first three phases of the project.

Avenue B will be closed for a time early in the project. That will only be on the east side of Highway 75; Oak Hill Road is to remain open but there will be some construction obstacles.

Utility companies with lines along the route will continue to relocate those lines.

After the pre-construction conference with Hawkins later this month, Fisher will be sitting down with officials of the City of Plattsmouth and Cass County to further plan and coordinate.

Fire, rescue, law enforcement and the postal service will be contacted about the plans. Business owners that will be affected will be invited to sit in on some weekly contractor meetings.

Fisher said that with its daily paper publication schedule, he’ll be relaying information through Cassgram to let the motoring public about what to expect.

“We will really appreciate the public’s willingness to be patient. There will be some traffic issues,” said Fisher.

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