Humphrey RCUT design

THE RCUT is a new engineering design and will be tried at the intersection of Highway 81 and Highway 91. 

HUMPHREY — The RCUT on Highway 81/91 will be built as scheduled.

Dave Neill of Paulsen Inc., Cozad, said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, construction remains on schedule.

He said the company would start work sometime after July 4.

“We will start moving in, but we will not start tearing out anything after the Fourth of July, probably July 6,” he said.

It could take about three months to complete, but Neill said it should be built quicker, but much depends on the weather.

This is the company’s first RCUT construction.

“We have not ever done one, and as far I know, they have never done one in Nebraska,” Neill said.

Neill said the project should not be difficult, and like every project, Paulsen Inc. will construct the RCUT per the design.

“It isn’t that difficult of a project to do,” he said. “They (Nebraska Department of Transportation) have it all designed, and we just come in and do the work. We’ll tear out the concrete, widen it out in spots and make a turning lane in each direction to be able to make the reverse turn to come back.”

The RCUT will be built in four phases.

The first phase includes work on the shoulders, right-turn lane and widening on Highway 91; phase two involves median work and constructing left-turn lanes; phase three is work on Highway 91 going east and west; and phase four is removing any temporary pavement, finishing up the project and cleanup.

He said to begin with, the passing lanes on Highway 81 will be closed off in both directions.

“It’ll be one lane for quite a while through there, but it shouldn’t hinder traffic much with the one lane,” he said.

Signs will be placed 1 mile in each direction alerting drivers of construction.

He said the RCUT would take some getting used to but if accidents are reduced, it’ll serve its purpose.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation accepted Paulsen’s bid of $2,498,111. It was one of four received Jan. 16 and the fourth time the NDOT held a bid-letting for the project.

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