By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
It won’t be completely finished, but all of the East 9th Street access points to the Chase County Fairgrounds will be open the week of fair, Aug. 15-22.
The crew from Concrete Products, Inc., of North Platte finished the laying of the south half of that street Tuesday, and barring any big rain storms again, the street’s north half should be paved this Friday.
Gary Dicenta, Miller & Associates’ construction observer on the city street project, said he knows people of the area are already thinking about the fair and the street work.
“Just pray for no more big rains,” he said Tuesday.
He said that’s the only thing that would prevent them from getting the north side poured later this week.
While the majority of the street will be finished with the new seven-inch paving of concrete, Dicenta noted about 50 feet at the Longhorn and East 9th intersection and a little longer section at East 9th and Chase Sts., likely won’t be.
However, the crew plans to put down millings on those street sections so vehicles can drive on them.
That’s to fulfill the contract’s section that requires that traffic be maintained in that area for fair week.
The contract also states that East 9th Street was to be done by July 16 in anticipation of the fair, Dicenta noted. It may not be completely done, but fair-goers will have access, he stressed.
Some may believe the heavy rains this summer have been the major reason the crew is behind, but that’s not the entire story.
Dicenta said on East 5th, the first street the crew paved, and now on East 9th, the subsurface has been the biggest problem.
There have been “a lot of spongy areas” in the subsurface, which have required the workers to dig out anywhere from a foot and a half to four feet deep in areas on both streets.
He said the problem has been worse on East 9th, noting that the entire length parallel to the school parking lot had to be dug out. But, there were several spots on East 5th that required a lot of digging, too.
Those areas then had to be replaced with new dirt or millings, he said. Then the preparation for paving could continue.
“We can’t pave until those areas were fixed,” he said.
Generally, once the concrete is poured, Dicenta said seven days is the minimum time before driving can be allowed. However, longer time is preferred.
If the north half of East 9th is paved Friday, that would give a full two weeks before the traffic starts building in the area for fair.
Dicenta said he wasn’t sure when the crew planned to start on East 12th Street, which is also slated for a full seven-inch concrete replacement from Highway 61 north to Broadway.
East 5th, Highway 61
The intersection at East 5th and Highway 61 near Imperial Yost Farm Supply and Country Ford was poured Tuesday.
Dicenta noted that intersection will also be open for the fair since it will have a full two weeks and more to set before driven on.
Access to the fairgrounds will also be open off of East 5th St. near the Jaycee Hall, Dicenta said. If the paving isn’t done there, millings will be put down.