Motorists who feel that the reconstruction of U.S. Highway 6 east of Hastings is making the road worse than before can rest assured that what has been done so far isn’t the finished product, the project’s manager said.
Steve Meyer of the Nebraska Department of Roads said that the road will be “nice and smooth” when the project is completed.
The Highway 6 construction project is 15 miles long, stretching between Hastings and the Harvard corner. Traffic in the area under construction has been reduced to one lane and is controlled by flag operators and pilot vehicles, causing delays in travel.
Before putting on the new surface, crews first are doing repair work on shorter sections of the road at a time, which has left a rough road surface to travel on afterward.
Meyer said the concrete seams of the highway had become separated, so road crews are cutting out sections of the roadway.
As the large cutout sections are filled with quick-drying concrete, the road surface has ended up with a roller-coaster effect.
“We are going to mill that out, probably in September, and we are going to start an asphalt overlay,” Meyer said. “It will not end up like that. It is just temporary. That concrete patching is a little tough to pour because you can drive on it in four hours — so it sets up pretty fast. They don’t have a lot of time to do much finishing on it. It’s never a perfect surface.”
Meyer said there is an 8-inch concrete base, which was the first surface of the existing road. There is an additional 8 inches of asphalt on top of that.
“So we are taking that all out, all the old concrete joints that are bad,” he said. “We are pouring that back with the concrete patching.”