High heat affects some Lancaster County construction

The heat is impacting everyone working outdoors, including road construction crews.
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The heat is impacting everyone working outdoors, including road construction crews. When the temperatures get hot, project leaders are adjusting to get their work done safely.

When temperatures are this hot, it can be dangerous for both the staff and the equipment. The county has had eight calls to repair equipment out in the field on Tuesday. They usually have just one or two.

“We popped a couple tires moving our load across the county just because of the heat,” Pam Dingman, Lancaster County Engineer said.

At the Lancaster County Engineer’s Building, crews are inside, out of the sun, repairing equipment.

In these temperatures, crews can’t pour concrete. County workers were also pulled from laying asphalt on Tuesday because of the heat.

When it gets this hot, things like asphalt patching, once we have a heat index over 100 we try to stop doing asphalt patching because it’s just too hot for employees,” Dingman said. “Asphalt is 165 degrees.”

Across town, contracted crews are working to finish a stretch of road on 14th Street in front of Belmont Elementary School.

“There will be some sidewalk work on the south end of (the) project that we’ll still be working on. The big push is to get the 14th Street open to traffic in time for buses, parents, everyone else, to be able to utilize this street when school is open,” Kris Humphrey, LTU Project Delivery Managers said .

The $2 million Lincoln On the Move Project is slated to be substantially completed by Aug. 14. When it’s this hot, they’re likely to start earlier in the day and end earlier too.

“We pay attention using the buddy system, making sure you’re aware of how everyone is acting on the job site,” Humphrey said. “Making sure you know heat exhaustion, heat stroke. Looking for those signs.

Humphrey said rain impacts their schedule more than heat, and there hasn’t been enough rain to impact them this season.

“This year, the weather hasn’t really affected our construction schedules as much as procurement of materials or having people available to do the work,” Humphrey said.

The Lancaster County Engineer said they are a little behind schedule, but that’s not due to the weather. It’s largely due to staff and supply-chain issues.

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