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Now, back to the arena project…

OK the election’s over, now we can get back to keeping tabs on that pile of dirt west of the Haymarket, which will eventually transform into a big, shiny Arena!

Interesting stuff on the horizon: During the Joint Public Agency’s meeting Thursday, the three-member arena overseers will:

• Authorize closing on the city’s $44 million purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe land and relocation of the railroad tracks to make way for the arena.

• Authorize a $5.6 million contract with Judds Construction to prepare the site for construction of the arena.

• Amend its engineering contract with Olsson Associates, adding $1.8 million for additional work, including work on the 10th Street and Salt Creek Roadway improvement project; design work on M and N streets, final design for those “dynamic message signs” that will point drivers toward the arena; preliminary design for a parking garage; and traffic analysis and conceptual design work to make improvements to the intersections of First and Cornhusker streets and Sun Valley and West O Street. Those last two are the street projects I recently wrote about with regard to rumors that the project is going over budget. More on that later.

• Establish a budget so the JPA can begin essentially paying the city public works department’s engineering department for performing work. How much will the city be reimbursed for their work? $1.25 million.

• Consider a $14,500 change order to TCW Construction for the 10th Street and Salt Creek Road project, bumping the total price tag to about $2.8 million.

If you’re interested in attending, the meeting is at 3:30 p.m. in city hall, 555 S. 10th St.

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