Mayor asks for patience with city’s construction projects


One might say it’s a headache. Others might call it a pain in the rear, but one thing’s for certain:

Seward is experiencing growing pains.

Mayor Josh Eickmeier asked the community for patience Feb. 20 as the city ramps up work on a number of infrastructure projects, especially the reconstruction of Highway 15, that will help accommodate Seward’s growth.

“I don’t know that we’ve ever had this many projects of this caliber going on at the same time, with the wellness center, the water tower, the wastewater treatment facility, all the road projects, specifically Highway 15. You’re going to see a lot of construction for awhile,” Eickmeier said.

City Administrator Greg Butcher said a water main replacement project is underway along the highway between Ash and Lincoln streets.

The plan is for crews to wrap that up before the Nebraska Department of Transportation begins highway reconstruction on April 1.

“We feel pretty confident based on the construction timeline and stuff that we’ll be able to keep well ahead of NDOT and get out of that section that they’re going to start between Ash Street and Highway 34 come April 1,” Butcher said.

Downtown businesses directly affected by the construction received leaflets with information about the contractors and how to contact them if there are issues.

“This is just the start of the headache,” Butcher said. “This is just going to proceed through the next construction season through fall.”

Elsewhere in the city, steel has been delivered for a new water tower at the corner of Eighth Street and Jackson Avenue.

The Seward Civic Center will soon be under renovation, the intersection at Izaak Walton Road and Highway 15 is being widened, and the walls of the Seward Wellness Center are going up along Waverly Road.

“There’s just a lot, lot, lot of projects going on right now. A lot of things for us to keep track of,” Butcher said.

“We really just ask for a lot of patience the next couple years,” Eickmeier said. “You’re going to see a lot of construction cones for awhile. We just ask everyone to be patient, and hopefully as projects start getting finished, it will lighten up some of the congestion and frustration, but unfortunately it’s going to be here for awhile.”

The mayor asked that drivers make smart decisions in dealing with the road construction and watch for crew members to keep everyone safe.

“I hope people can kind of keep their eye on the prize as far as where we’re trying to go with this and at the end of the day, Seward’s going to really benefit from having these done now moving forward,” he said.