Hays Mayor Henry Schwaller IV saw for himself on Thursday a good reason for the city’s planned street maintenance on Old U.S. Highway 40.

As part of $774,455 in street maintenance in 2019, the city will put concrete shoulders on narrow Old Highway 40 east of Vine Street, a heavy-industry corridor with corresponding giant work trucks.

“I had the pleasure of driving on Highway 40 earlier today and saw an 18-wheeler go on to the gravel shoulder — and it was a stunning moment,” Schwaller said. “So I’m glad we’re going to do this.”

Hays City Commissioners at their regular meeting Thursday evening at City Hall approved the concrete shoulders, as well as five other proposed maintenance projects for 2019.

Project Manager John Braun has said previously that city workers go out and dress the shoulders three or four times a year, depending on how wet the weather is. Putting the shoulders in could preserve the roadway concrete, he said.

The city on Jan. 22 received bids for the work from eight contractors, with several bidding on more than one project.

Winning bids approved by the City Commission were:

• JCorp. Inc., Hays, reconstruction of portions of Ash Street, from 23rd to 27th streets, starting in May, $189,229.

• J Corp. Inc., Hays, full replacement of brick from curb to curb, reconstructing Walnut Street between 12th and 13th streets, and Elm Street between Sixth and Eighth streets, starting in May, $100,566.

• JCorp. Inc., Hays, 9,000 lineal feet of concrete shoulders along east Eighth Street and Old Highway 40, $175,500.

• Circle C Paving, Goddard, for 5.8 miles of seal coat, starting in June or July, $153,535.

• Proseal, El Dorado, 16 lane miles of asphalt rejuvenator on wide arterial streets and major collectors, to keep newer asphalt streets in good shape and prevent them from drying out, starting in May, $84,466.

• Vance Bros., Kansas City, Mo., for micro-surfacing on MacArthur south of Roosevelt Elementary School, Broadway between 27th and 33rd streets, and a short section of 14th Street east of Hall Street, starting in April, $71,159.