Potholes and poor drainage are no longer issues for business owners, workers, and other drivers traveling on A Street from Main to Washington in Hillsboro. Tuesday evening, road closed signs were removed and the street was opened to the public after three weeks of construction.
“Randy Hagen (co-owner of Hillsboro Ford) told me ‘I could walk around and kiss you,’” Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine said. “But I told him there was no need for that. We are all very happy with how quickly and efficiently these street repair projects are coming along.”
The one-block stretch of A Street cost the city $99,800, but business owners along that avenue agree it was well worth the cost.
“This is such a big improvement,” Hagen said. “Especially to the north, we used to have such a water problem. It just turned into a big pond whenever it rained. After it rained on Sunday and when I came in on Monday, there was no water standing anywhere. It is working already.”
Barb Unruh of Mid Kansas Eye Care on 132 S. Main in Hillsboro said the street improvements on A Street were “well-welcomed” by her and staff in her office.
“The jack-hammering got pretty intense at times,” she said. “But it was all worth the hassle. They did a very good job and it looks very nice.”
Unruh said a main problem fixed for her and other employees who park regularly in the lot behind the optometrist office along A Street was the potholes.
“We had some pretty good- sized holes and had to do a lot of dodging,” she said. “We are glad to not have to do that anymore.”
The new street surface was poured in concrete and should be maintenance free, as well as provide a more consistent surface in hot and cold weather conditions.
Other streets under construction in Hillsboro are not scheduled for opening anytime soon, but progress is being made in all areas, Paine said.
“Originally we contracted the two projects, Adams and First streets,” he said. “But later we were able to break it into four chunks and all are coming along nicely.”
EBH engineer Darren Neufeld oversaw construction on the A Street project, considered the first “chunk” by Paine. Workers from Vogts-Parga Construction poured the concrete and fixed drainage issues in the project zone.
Construction on the second “chunk,” First Street from Main to Ash, met some delays because of project pre-requisites required by the administration of a Community Development Block Grant that financed that portion.
“Because of the CDBG, we are required to have a number of ticket-punch check offs before we can move on to each next stage,” Paine said.
Dirt work on the third “chunk” which is on Adams Street from First Street to the highway is scheduled to begin next week.
“Darren (EBH contractor) said they would begin dirt work next week,” Paine said. “But I have learned, depending on weather, you don’t say a project is beginning, until you actually see it begin.”
The fourth “chunk” of street improvement projects in Hillsboro concerns First Street from Main to Ash. It was opened later for street construction bidding, as it was previously listed under the “to do” list of city Street Supervisor Dale Dalke.
“He felt his time was better served without the addition of that project, and we like having him in the position of street inspector, rather that contractor,” Paine said.