The city of Hays could be ready by March to solicit construction bids for fixing portions of Ash Street, Elm Street and Fourth Street in the area of Lewis Field Stadium.

Concrete and asphalt pavement on the streets would be replaced, as well as any failed curb and gutter and sidewalks, with new storm water inlets installed, as well as replacement and upgrading of old four-inch water main along Ash Street, according to John Braun, project manager for the city.

Braun presented the project to the Hays City Commission at its regularly scheduled work session Thursday evening in City Hall.

The city previously budgeted $1.6 million for the project in the 2018 budget. The first step is to hire an engineering firm for design services, and low bid for that part of the project is Briggs Design Group. P.A., Hays, with a proposal of $39,185, Braun said.

The project covers 3,100 linear feet, including a portion of Elm, which carries about 1,700 to 2,900 vehicles a day. Elm is concrete overlaid with asphalt. Ash and 4th streets are concrete in the area of the project.

Construction could begin as soon as the summer of 2019, Braun told commissioners. The Elm portion could be finished first while Fort Hays State University is on summer break.

“We have had preliminary discussions with Fort Hays State University about converting parallel parking to angle parking along the west side of Elm between Fourth Street and Lewis Drive,” Braun said.

That would extend existing angle parking, replacing about 10 of the parallel parking spaces there now with 18 angle parking spaces, he said. Fort Hays would pay for the extra cost to do that, he said.

“The road width will remain the same,” said Braun, “but the intersection geometrics will be improved, particularly at the intersection of Fifth and Elm.”

City Commissioner and Vice Mayor Henry Schwaller IV asked about the sharp-angled intersection at Elm and Fifth streets.

“Are we going to straighten that out a little bit?” he asked. “It’s very difficult to drive that. It’s incredibly dangerous.”

City Manager Toby Dougherty assured Schwaller and the commissioners that changes are in store there.

“If you’re coming north on Elm, right at Fifth where you make that curve,” Dougherty said, “We’re basically going to cut that off, and shallow that angle.”

In other business, Jesse Rohr, director of public works for the city, presented a request to annex a parcel of ground north of Interstate 70.

The land is on the east side of U.S. Highway 183, behind the former Hays Livestock Market Center, and is owned by Ellis County farmer Lester Gross.

Gross is applying to annex the property, which is a .68 acre tract under contract for purchase by the Hays American Legion Post 173, which expects to build a new building there for its membership, said Post 173 Commander Brian Roe.