When visitors enter the Husker Harvest Days show site west of Grand Island this year, they’ll find themselves at a completely revamped show site.
Around $7.5 million has been invested in show site upgrades by Farm Progress and the help of generous donors like the city of Grand Island. Until now, much of the infrastructure (i.e., roads and electrical) hadn’t been upgraded since the site was first constructed back in the late 1970s.
“We’ve been working on it for four to five years; it kind of stemmed from the fact that the show site is 40 years old and power poles have a 40-year-old lifespan,” says Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events director. “It was to the point we need to do something to replace power lines, and we said, ‘If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right, and do it once and get the foundation set for the next 40 years.’ A great partnership from county, city, private partners and our ownership by Informa made it all come together.”
Contractors, construction crews and members of the show team have been busy at the show site ever since November 2017.
“There has been activity out there since the contract was signed in mid-November, and the work has never stopped,” adds Jungmann. “By the time we open the gates, it will be 250 straight days of work.”
With that in mind, here’s a look at upgrades to the show site by the numbers:
• 5.5 miles of newly paved streets, with concrete 7 inches deep
• 179,592 feet, or 34 miles, of electrical wiring throughout the site
• 18,710 feet, or about 3.5 miles, of storm sewer pipe
• 13,835,200 gallons of storm water detention volume
• 16 feet of grade change from the west end to the east end of the show site
• 93,200 cubic yards of earthwork moved
• 7,825 feet, or about 1.5 miles, of security fence around the perimeter of the exhibit area
• 11,500 feet, or about 2.2 miles, of water pipe
• 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space
• five 90-foot-tall Musco light towers
• 39 75-kilovolt-amp transformers, tripling the show site’s electrical capacity
• 40,000 cubic yards of concrete