Sarpy County benefitting from new road construction project
PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - Major road projects have sprouted in northwestern Sarpy County as crews continue to alter the once narrow, gravel roads into an efficient, modern road network.
“The CONNECTSarpy – West Sarpy road program is the largest package of road projects in county history. We’re transforming an entire section of the county that is already bursting with development,” said Sarpy County Board Chairman Don Kelly. “This is an aggressive effort, and it is well on the way to better connecting our residents to neighborhoods, schools and businesses.”
The latest Census figures show Sarpy County added about 32,000 people since 2010, making Sarpy the fastest growing county in the state. Much of that population growth is taking place in northwestern Sarpy County, showing no signs of slowing down.
Gretna Public Schools have began construction on their second high school near 180th Street and Cornhusker Road, near Aspen Creek middle and elementary schools, as several new housing developments begin to take shape along the 180th St. corridor.
To ensure the area is ready for additional growth, Sarpy County is improving the roads in a 9-square-mile area between Harrison Street and Highway 370 from 168th to 204th Streets.
Last year, the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners selected Hawkins Construction Company to serve as Construction Manager/General Contractor for the West Sarpy road program. Sarpy County is the first entity in the state to build roads using this innovative model.
“The real benefit to using the Construction Manager/General Contractor model on this project is we have Hawkins to help coordinate all the moving parts, which will in turn help us get the entire project completed sooner,” said Sarpy County Engineer Dennis Wilson. “This is a massive project – 9 square miles – and it involves dozens of partners, so having Hawkins on board will cut down on construction time by 25 to 50 percent.”
Earlier this year, the Sarpy County Board authorized issuing $51.5 million in bonds to pay for the program. Approximately $13.5 million of the $65 million budgeted program has been completed.
“Issuing bonds for road construction makes financial sense for Sarpy County because we are able to tackle large-scale projects without having to raise our mil levy,” said Sarpy County Commissioner Jim Warren, who represents the CONNECTSarpy – West Sarpy area on the County Board. “The county’s continued growth, stable cash reserves and Aaa bond rating all factored in to us getting a very competitive 1.6% interest rate on our bonds.”
The CONNECTSarpy – West Sarpy road program is on track to be done in the fall of 2023.
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