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UPDATE: 14th and Warlick roundabout project put on hold

(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 10:03 PM CST
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The roundabout project at 14th and Warlick has been delayed.

LTU Interim Director Tom Casady confirms to 10/11 that it is officially postponed after bids came back higher than expected.

The City of Lincoln unsealed bids for the construction project Tuesday. The lowest bid came back 9% higher than the entire projected project cost.

Construction on the $36 million two-layered roundabout is slated to start in the spring of 2020 and finish in the winter of 2021. However, City of Lincoln Purchasing documents show the lowest bid was $39.32 million from K2 Construction.

The next bids came in even higher at $43.3 and $43.7 million. It's unclear what these bids mean for the future of the project.

In October, Councilman Richard Meginnis proposed delaying the roundabout for five years and using the money for general road repairs in the city.

"To be able to use those funds now, and get some of our streets done and move this roundabout situation to a later date," said in October.

However, in November council members voted against Meginnis' plan, ensuring the project would continue moving forward. So far the City has allocated about $10 million dollars toward the roundabout.

In late November, the citizen group Sensible Streets started a petition drive to get 8,500 signatures from Lincoln voters. The group wants the South Beltway project to be built first. They want the 14th and Warlick project delay on the ballot for voters to decide.

The group said if the South Beltway is finished first, traffic numbers at 14th and Warlick may go down. Currently it's one of the busiest intersections in Lincoln with nearly 38,000 cars a day.

Casady said they will reevaluate over the course of 2020 to determine whether there is something they can propose for a lower cost for the 2021 construction season and beyond.

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