Two years after spending $203,000 to run fiber-optic cables to the new Sheriff's Office, Sarpy County now must spend $135,000 more to move the lines to make way for a Papillion street widening.

The underground cables provide phone, email and Internet access to the Sheriff's Office and public works facility on Platteview Road. They were installed along 84th Street when the new $7.8 million County Law Enforcement Center was being built in 2010 and 2011.

At the time, plans detailing the road work and construction rights of way hadn't been finalized. But the county couldn't wait to get Internet service and phones running at the buildings, Deputy County Administrator Scott Bovick said.

“Really, there's no way we could have delayed it for two years,” Bovick said. “We knew going into it, and it's not a total shock, but it's too bad we have to go back in and move it.”

The company installing the lines tried to keep them out of the way of any future construction work, but space was limited by the presence of existing utility lines, according to Beth Garber, the county's senior buyer and contract administrator.

Now, with work starting to ramp up on the long-awaited 84th Street project, the fiber-optic lines need to be moved.

The County Board awarded the relocation contract to Gretna-based TJ Cable & Underground Services on Tuesday. The company is expected to start work sometime this week and finish by October.

It will install a spare conduit along the new utility path in case the buildings need to increase phone and Internet capacity in the future.

Papillion's $10.5 million street project will widen a 1.8-mile portion of 84th Street from Cedardale Road to Capehart Road.

The city recently finished acquiring easements and rights of way and is expected to seek bids for the construction work sometime this fall.

Road work could start by late December or early spring, depending on the weather, and will result in significant detours for the duration of the 18-month project.

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