City crews will haul out sand, trucks, loaders and sand bags on Friday afternoon in an exercise to see if Hays is ready for flooding.

The exercise, scheduled at the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will shut down Main Street between Elm and the U.S. Highway 183 Bypass from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Friday.

“The Main Street bridge over Big Creek is a low spot in the levee,” said city Project Manager John Braun. “If the creek gets full, the water would come up and it would pour over into the city.”

The levee opening at the bridge is the only spot in the city where sand bags would be needed, Braun said, and the city has a plan and supplies in place if they are ever needed.

Now, however, city crews will do a trial run of the plan, but without really filling up sandbags, he said.

“The sandbags are kind of expensive,” Braun said. “So we’re going to have everything out there, and then pretend like we’re filling them.”

Braun described the bags as kind of like a big accordion. Each one measuring about 3 feet square, the bags are sewn together in a row. With the bags resting on a pallet, a loader can grab them and pull them across the street. As the bags open, sand is rapidly dumped inside.

“They’re made to go up really fast,” Braun said. For information, contact Public Works at 785-628-7350.

In other street work:

- Also starting Friday, J-Corp will begin installing concrete shoulders along the side of Eighth Street east of Vine Street. During hours of construction, from 7:30 am to 5 p.m., traffic will be down to east bound one-way only. After hours, the road will be restored to two-way traffic. Pending weather conditions, the project should be finished in two weeks. For information, call the city’s Office of Project Management, 628-7350, or J-Corp, 628-8101.

- Starting Monday, the reconstruction of 43rd Street south of Walmart will begin, with 43rd Street closed west of Roth Avenue for demolition.

Areas of 43rd Street east of Roth Avenue will be accomplished under subsequent phases of construction that allow for continued access to local businesses.

Construction is expected to take about three months, depending on the weather. Signs will be in place to direct motorists. For information, call the city’s Office of Project Management, 628-7350, or Vogts-Parga Construction, (316) 217-1961.

- Also starting Monday, reconstruction of the intersection of 17th and Elm streets will begin. Both 17th and Elm Street will be closed to through traffic. The construction will last until April 12, depending on the weather.

The City of Hays regrets any inconvenience this may cause to the public. For information, call the city’s Office of Project Management, 628-7350, or Morgan Brothers Construction, 432-3104 or 384-1777.