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Sidewalk repair

K-2 Construction will repair or replace 290 blocks of damaged city sidewalks this year under a $2.4 million contract.

K-2 Construction’s concrete structures division has an ambitious agenda for the next construction season.

The company will replace the equivalent of about 290 blocks of cracked and worn-out sidewalk across Lincoln.

The city divided 2015 sidewalk work into quadrants, and K-2 was low bidder on all four projects.

Its $2.4 million contract covers 96,750 linear feet of sidewalk replacement and repair.

Rather than use all of its work force in one area, K-2 has decided to have crews work in each of the four quadrants at the same time, said Travis Sondgeroth, an owner of K-2. Each crew will have the same equipment and staffing.

"We are planning to set monthly goals and then have friendly competition to see who can accomplish the most within a given time frame," he said.

The company likely will offer a reward at the end of each month for the crew that accomplishes the most, he said.

K-2 has experience in city sidewalk projects, but replacing sidewalks is by no means easy, Sondgeroth said.

"(It is) logistically challenging, man- or woman-power challenging and equipment challenging,” Sondgeroth said.

Sidewalk projects affect people’s lives, he said.

"The sidewalk is torn up in front of their homes, where they pick up the kids from school, the dog runs through the concrete," he said. "These are tough jobs."

Sondgeroth said he was a little surprised but not “over-the-moon shocked” that K-2 was the low bidder on all four quadrant projects.

“These are hard jobs, and people build that risk into their pricing,” he said.

K-2 will work to get the job done quickly, said Thomas Shafer, construction manager for the city. That means completing somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 feet of sidewalk every week, he said.

"It is ambitious," Shafer said.

The work is part of a two-year, $6.5 million city commitment to fix the worst sidewalks and make a big dent in the sidewalk repair backlog.

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Some of the 2015 work is left over from a 2014 contract. The city canceled a $216,000 contract with R & C Concrete Flatwork because the company had not started any of the work by the end of November.

R & C Concrete has been disqualified from bidding on city work for a year because of failure to complete several other smaller projects on time and numerous instances of poor workmanship, including pouring concrete in the rain and having open beer containers in a company vehicle during working hours, according to city records.

It is unusual for the city to disqualify a company from bidding on city work, Shafer said.

R & C Concrete had been awarded the $216,000 contract for sidewalk work primarily in northwest Lincoln. The other two contractors for 2014 work met the city requirement that at least 40 percent of the work be finished by Nov. 20, Shafer said. They are Walton Construction, which has a $516,000 contract, and Vogtscapes, with a $530,000 sidewalk contract.

Because the contracts were bid a little late, contractors were given two construction seasons to finish the work. Walton had 40 percent to 45 percent of its work finished by the end of November, and Vogtscapes had completed 65 percent of its work, Shafer said.

The sidewalk funding includes $4 million in debt financing, using what are called “certificates of participation,” $1 million in Federal Transit Administration funding, $400,000 allocated by the city Department of Urban Development’s neighborhood focus area program and $1 million from the city’s capital improvement program.

The expanded sidewalk program is targeting sidewalks in 1,400 locations that have 2-inch or wider cracks or 2-inch separations between segments.

There are 10,000 more sidewalk problem areas reported, but these are the “worst of the worst,” Shafer said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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