North Showboat Boulevard will be closed to through traffic between 26th Street and Lochland Road beginning Wednesday as construction progresses on the 42nd Street truck route project.
The $2.8 million project, approved by the Adams County Board of Supervisors in October 2013, will pave Showboat north one mile from 26th Street, then curve west and continue on 42nd Street one mile to the Smith Softball Complex. The project is slated to be completed in three phases before Sept. 1.
In mid-February, VanKirk Construction of Sutton began the construction of a box culvert, which marked the first soil moved on the project.
The closing and paving of Showboat marks the project's first pavement phase and the work will be done by Werner Construction of Hastings. The project originally was planned to start no later than April 1, but cold and wet conditions have pushed construction back several weeks.
"The cold winter caused the crews some significant delays," said Dawn Miller, Adams County roads superintendent.
The next phase includes the renovation of the intersection of 26th Street and Showboat. During that phase, signs at the intersection of Showboat and U.S. Highway 6 will instruct truckers to use a marked detour between Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 281 through Hastings.
"We don't anticipate a big impact on truck traffic until later in the year, during phase three," Miller said, noting that many truckers go through the 26th Street and Showboat intersection on the current designated truck route. "There isn't a lot of truck traffic to worry about this time of the year."
The county and contractors are aiming for the completion and opening of the truck route on Sept. 1, with leeway extending until Sept. 15.
The route's lanes will be 12 feet wide with a 2-foot hard shoulder and an additional 6 feet of earthen shoulder on both sides. The route is designed for continuously flowing traffic, Miller said.
The project's $2.8 million price tag is being funded through a county bond, which also translates into a 2-cent increase per $100 valuation in county taxes through 2018.
The county is anticipating that the new 42nd Street truck route will allow trucks and commuters to forego the stop-and-go congestion of Burlington Avenue in light of a new, open freeway headed to east and south of town.
Concurrently, fewer cars and pedestrians will have to contend with truck traffic on streets in the belly of the city.