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2009 Media Releases


Date:
February 19, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Chad Blahak, Stimulus Project Coordinator, 309-4608


MAYOR TARGETS ARTERIAL REHABILITATION FOR STIMULUS STREET FUNDS

Mayor Chris Beutler today said the City of Lincoln expects to receive about $9.3 million in street funds alone from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama Tuesday. And he said the rehabilitation of arterial streets is the best choice for use of those economic stimulus funds.

"In every corner of the City, we have arterial streets that are in desperate need of repair," Mayor Beutler said. "I am committed to street projects that create jobs quickly, provide the most bang for the buck, and impact the streets we drive every day."

Beutler said the City's list is being developed as more information is received on state and federal requirements. He said some projects that go beyond rehabilitation may take more time to acquire right of way, conduct environmental studies or obtain further approval. The stimulus bill does not afford that kind of time because of the need to create jobs quickly.

"Now that the bill has passed, we need to focus on what we can do, not what we would like to do, and what we can do is fix the roads we already have," Beutler said. "In addition, rehabilitation of our streets stretches our stimulus dollars further then they would go with new construction. For every five-plus miles of road we can rehab, we could afford only one mile of newly constructed two-lane road."

In finalizing its package, the Mayor said the City will use data from its pavement management system, which uses technology to identify the streets that are most in need of repair. The Mayor directed the City Public Works and Utilities Department to update the data last summer. "As a result, we have current information that puts us ahead of the curve in identifying which streets are the best candidates to quickly, and most cost effectively, put the stimulus money into play and put people to work."

Beutler thanked Senator Ben Nelson for his work on the stimulus bill. The Mayor said he will continue to discuss the City's stimulus package with the City Council.

Due to budget issues, the City has been unable to take on significant street rehabilitation projects for several years. "With these stimulus dollars, we now have an opportunity," Beutler said. "We can put people to work while protecting the largest asset the City has - our billion dollar investment in our City streets and roads."


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