Drivers who use Nighthawk Rd. to get from 190th Rd. to US-50 and vice versa will have to take alternate routes beginning in mid-April when a project to rebuild the curves at 130th Rd. is scheduled to begin.
The project could be considered an unofficial kickoff to road work season, as interim road and bridge superintendent Jesse Hamm met with county commissioners Thursday to solidify plans that will keep road crews busy into early fall.
Commissioners put the Nighthawk Rd. project on the map nearly two years ago, citing safety concerns over the sharp curves and condition of the road.
The reconstructed curves will be banked and more gradual. The project should take about three months to complete, Hamm said.
Barricades allowing local traffic on Nighthawk Rd. will be placed at its intersections with US-50 and 190th roads, and all traffic will be barricaded at 120th and 140th Rds.
The Nighthawk Rd. project should be finished in plenty of time to avoid conflicting with another major project, that of rebuilding seven miles of 140th Rd. from Pawnee to Indigo Rds., Hamm said.
Deterioration of 140th Rd. is beyond the remedies of standard maintenance.
“There’s no crown and there’s no base,” Hamm said. “We can’t keep material on it.”
Road crews will strip away what’s left, rebuild the base with a reshaped crown to allow adequate water runoff, and rework the ditches.
Favorable weather has allowed grader operators do more routine maintenance on gravel and dirt roads, Hamm said. Those chores will continue through the summer, except that individual operators may be taken from their districts for a week at a time and used to assist with blade patching, culvert replacement, or other tasks.
Crews will wait until fall to seal cracks in pavement, as the process benefits from asphalt contracting in cooler temperatures, Hamm said.
Commissioner Dan Holub expressed concern about 7 miles of 330th Rd. west of K-15, known as the Roxbury road. Asphalt is breaking into large chunks and creating hazardous driving conditions, he said.
Hamm and commissioners agreed for the time being to use gravel to fill and smooth out potholes, and to monitor conditions closely until a more permanent fix can be applied.