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      Flood Project Will Create Detours in Grand Island

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      In the face of drought, Grand Island gears up for the next phase of a million dollar flood control project. And it will affect traffic on a busy highway, and a busy residential street.

      More than 7,000 cars pass through Broadwell Avenue, south of Second Street every day.

      It's a major north-south street, but expect detours on the way to school or work.

      "I know we have a lot of school traffic," City Project Manager Scott Griepenstroh said. "Just a little more time to get through on Broadwell. People need to be aware things are going to change."

      The improvements along Broadwell are meant to benefit an even busier roadway a few blocks away, draining water from a highway that's prone to flooding.

      Griepenstroh said, You don't want to have your street flooding, especially on Highway 30 which is also Second Street, and having traffic issues."

      It's a federally funded project, with a price tag above a million dollars. It's been on the drawing boards for years, but got held up.

      "The process for federal aid projects went through changes in 2008 and then we had some issues with what was eligible for federal funds," Griepenstroh said.

      Huge pipes and a new storm sewer should alleviate most drainage problems, according to the project manager.

      He said, "When we're all finished, if we get a big surge of rain, there will still be water standing, but it should get a lot quicker."

      To get that detention cell ready, they've got a few more months of work. A section of Broadwell Avenue may be closed through April and May.

      The irony of working on a flood control project in a time of drought isn't lost on the project manager. But given his track record, construction may be just what is needed.

      "For some reason when we take out the pavement in central Nebraska, it brings out the rain," he said with a smile.

      The parks department has set aside money for plans to install playground equipment in the Wasmer Detention Cell once construction has wrapped up.

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