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Improvements to reduce flooding on blacktop
Change order prevents weight limits west of Pawnee Rock
SW 70 Road pawnee rock
This aerial view shows the stretch of SW 70 Road along the Barton/Pawnee county line that is being improved.

Although the change will add to the cost the improvements to blacktop SW 70 Road west of Pawnee Rock, it will prevent the stretch along the Barton/Pawnee county line from having to be posted for weight limits, County Engineer Barry McManaman told the County Commission Monday morning.

Commissioners approved a change order for project, which involves the replacement of two box culverts at low-water crossings. It is joint project with the cost being split between the two counties.

Initially, the work was going to cost $128,641 with L&M Contractors of Great Bend being awarded the bid. But, additional reinforcing steel was required in the east reinforced concrete box due to design standards that changed after the project was awarded, McManaman said. 

So, by lengthening one set of rebars in the floor of the box, it will comply with the new standards, he said. The net cost of the additional steel is $418, with half of the cost being reimbursed by Pawnee County.  

The good news is that this alteration will prevent the county from having to post weight limits on the road. 

Pawnee County has also signed off on the change.

Historically, the crossings on the blacktop frequently have water over them, causing it to be closed. By installing the new drainage boxes and elevating the roadway, the likelihood of this happening will be reduced.

Since the road runs along the boarder between the counties, McManaman approached Pawnee County to share the cost.

Weather permitting and the application of new asphalt, the work should be done in the next couple of weeks.