Fifth Street Road focus of Lincoln and
Logan County infrastructure plans
Anticipated development to the west
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[MAY 27, 2004]
City and county officials
are planning ahead, anticipating both commercial and residential
growth to the west of Lincoln. In preparation for those
developments, officials have been looking hard at infrastructure in
The county has had the Fifth Street
Road on their agenda for a number of years, and it is now their top
project. They planned to redo Fifth Street for a 10-mile stretch
from Lincoln Parkway to the New Holland-Middletown blacktop. Federal
funding has fallen far shorter than anticipated and may alter those
plans. The county received word last month that they are eligible to
receive $800,000 in federal funds designated specifically for that
project. The project was first estimated at $15 million to $19
The county is approaching the planning
for the road in two phases, though the work phase will be completed
all at once. Assistant county engineer Bret Aukamp said that the
engineering for the western five-mile section is completed. They are
waiting for funding to complete the engineering on the eastern
portion, and then work can begin.
County Board Chairman Dale Voyles and
county engineer Tom Hickman addressed the Lincoln streets and alleys
committee earlier this month. The county is asking the city to
finance the city's portion of the Fifth Street Road renovation. It
is a one-mile section of Fifth Street between Lincoln Parkway and
Connolly Road. The road will become three lanes wide to support the
increase and type of traffic that is expected with the new
developments in the area. That work is estimated at $3.4 million.
The city is still recovering from tight
financial times. The issue was laid on the table for discussion for
the second time at Tuesday evening's workshop. The amount of $1.4
million in funding was identified as attainable. However, that
leaves a $2 million gap, Alderman Crane said.
During the brainstorming session Mayor
Beth Davis said she thought that new infrastructure sales tax may
provide some funds. Last month was the first time these funds began
coming in, and they were much higher than anticipated.
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If the county is able to roll the
financing over until the new fiscal 2006 year, the city will
probably be able to budget it, Steve Fuhrer suggested. The mayor,
streets chairman Derrick Crane, Alderman Benny Huskins and others
agreed to that.
Crane clearly felt that the current
city road plans should come first this year. "We still have a lot of
folks here in the city that have been waiting several years to have
their streets taken care of and some other issues," Alderman Crane
Alderman Fuhrer voiced that he felt the
infrastructure sales tax could be divided, with some for city
streets and some toward projects that help promote growth.
Marty Neitzel suggested that if the
city had a grinder, they would be able to do city streets cheaper
and use those funds on a project like this.
Grant Eaton from Environmental
Management Corporation asked and was granted permission to search
out a possible source of funding for the project.
Mayor Davis said that the city will
look at the possibility of running sewer lines out west at the same
meantime, Streets Department Superintendent Tracy Jackson has been
in touch with Bob Shelley and Bill Melton, who will advise him on
how to temporarily provide additional width that Fifth Street needs
at this time. He said that millings from the downtown street
renovations will be used on the sides of Fifth Street, widening it
by two feet on each side.