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Railroad Avenue project to move forward
Venture gets nod for work set to begin around Labor Day
railroad ave project aerial pic
Shown is an aerial view of the stretch of Railroad Avenue subject to an agreement between the Barton County and the City of Great Bend. The bid for the project was awarded by the Commission Monday morning.

The Barton County Commission Monday morning awarded the Railroad Avenue resurfacing project bid to Venture Corporation of Great Bend. The $177,648.45 job is a cost-sharing effort between Barton County and the City of Great Bend, County Engineer Barry McManaman said.

McManaman accepted bids until June 25 for the 2019 project. The project includes milling off the old asphalt, widening the road, and placing 1,477 tons of commercial-grade asphalt overlay on Railroad Avenue from Main Street to Washington. 

Venture Corporation submitted the only bid, McManaman said.

Both the County Commission and the Great Bend City Council signed off on the project June 3. The two entities have shared the load on Railroad Avenue dating back nearly 60 years.

The total project length is 2,413 feet, stretching from South Washington Avenue eastward to just over 400 feet from U.S. 281.

Venture is planning to begin after Labor Day and the work should take about a week, McManaman said. However, depending on the contractor’s schedule, the project could begin sooner.

Under the deal

• The Barton County portion is 82.4% of the total project length. The length of the Barton County portion is 1,989 feet.

• The City of Great Bend portion is 17.6% of the total project length. The length of the City of Great Bend portion is 424 feet.

The county handled the bidding process for the resurfacing project. It was estimated to cost between $140,000-$170,000.

McManaman said in 2012 the county placed a three-inch hot-mix overlay on the road and the city paid its share of 29.7%, using the same breakdown of costs that was established in 1960. The city originally designed and constructed the road and the county paid of 70.3% of the work cost.

However, a couple of years ago, the city had a Kansas Department of Transportation project to construct the new concrete pavement that extends west from Main Street a few hundred feet, reducing the city’s portion to 17.6% this year since that section is not included now.

So, a new formula was needed, McManaman said. The county and city met to discuss the work, including a meeting between McManaman and City Administrator Kendal Francis. 

The new project will include milling the old three-inch overlay off (down to bare concrete), adding a two-foot hot mix asphalt to widen both sides of the road so vehicles won’t drop off the edge as occurs now. This shoulder will consist of five inches of asphalt with the overall layer of three inches on top of that.

Next, a new three-inch hot mix asphalt overlay on the entire road, expanding it from 22 feet to 26 feet. Also, it will match up with the existing concrete curb line.


Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here’s a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Named Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz as the voting delegate and Kenny Schremmer and Jim Daily as the alternate delegates for the Barton County Commission annual conference in November in Wichita.

• Approved awarding the Railroad Avenue resurfacing project bid to Venture Corporation of Great Bend for $177,648.45. 

• Approved the Health Department annual federal and state grant awards totalling $466,694.