City of Lincoln
2009 Media Releases
Mayor Chris Beutler today said the City will use its share of federal stimulus road funds for the rehabilitation of arterial streets. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law in February provides $9.3 million in road funding for Lincoln. Beutler has directed the City Public Works and Utilities Department to add $6.9 million in local street funds for a combined package of $16 million. (A list of street projects follows this release.)
"We have arterial streets in desperate need of improvement in every corner of the City," Beutler said. "These are the streets we drive everyday, and they are critical to our neighborhoods, our businesses and our future. Combining our local funds and the stimulus dollars will create jobs quickly, provide the most bang for the buck and make our streets smoother and safer."
The Mayor said the federal and local funds will allow the City to rehabilitate 310 blocks of 25 arterial street segments. In contrast, he said, Lincoln has resurfaced only one arterial street segment of 22 blocks in the last five years due to tight budgets. The City estimates the projects will create or save hundreds of jobs.
Beutler said new road construction projects not on the stimulus list are very important, and the City will continue to seek state and federal funds for them. But he said many of those projects are not eligible for stimulus funding because the funds cannot be obligated within one year. "We need to focus on what we can do, and what we can do is fix the roads we already have," he said. The Public Works and Utilities Department said the City can rehabilitate 7.8 miles of streets for the same cost as building one mile of new four-lane road.
The City uses a pavement management system to identify which streets are most in need of repair and the most appropriate means of extending the useful life of the streets. Mayor Beutler directed the Public Works and Utilities Department to update the data last summer.
"As a result, we have current information that puts us ahead of the curve in identifying which streets are the best candidates for rehabilitation," he said. "My proposal to couple local and federal funds will allow us to address most of the roads rated as 'poor' or 'fair.'"
Beutler thanked U.S. Senator Ben Nelson for his role in negotiating a bi-partisan solution that resulted in a bill that will stimulate the economy. "We can create jobs while protecting the largest asset our City has - our billion-dollar investment in our City streets and roads."
More information on the City's stimulus package is available on the City Web site, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: stimulus).
310 blocks of street improved. Since 2004, only 22 blocks of Lincoln streets have been improved.
NOTE: A portion of the Antelope Valley project will be paid for with the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act in order to free local funds to complete the list above.