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KEARNEY — Aldermen approved Monday, Oct. 19, a low bid by RFB Construction for a project that will put sidewalks along 19th Street in Kearney and replace the crosswalk signals at Stonecrest and 19th Street.

“$52,000 was budgeted for the project,” agenda documents state, “but we have street maintenance funds that can cover the difference.”

The low bid came in at $58,699.55 with an additional $11,000 for the crosswalk replacement, creating a total of $69,799.55, more than $20,000 less than the second lowest bid.

“The crosswalk lights will be replaced with a pedestrian strobe light that is activated when pedestrians walk up,” City Administrator Jim Eldridge told aldermen. “What we have now is programmed and always programmed wrong, I think.”

Kearney resident Christina Johnson publicly commented to aldermen about the project at Monday’s aldermen meeting.

“When we first moved to Kearney, we saw a bike trail and got really excited,” Johnson said. “We didn’t realize the sidewalk ended.”

Johnson added that there have been several times she’s seen children walking in the street and questioned why they wouldn’t walk in the ditch as the street doesn’t have a shoulder, let alone a sidewalk, which makes the area dangerous. Having later explored walking in the ditch, she said realized it retains a lot of water and creates an undesirable walking experience.

“(This sidewalk project) will make a lot of people happy,” she said, “and a lot more people safe.”

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at sean.roberts@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6606.

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