YORK – This year’s one- and six-year road/bridge program looks pretty much like it did last year because most of the projects had to be postponed while the road crews concentrated on fixing flood-damaged areas.
But eight bridges on the long-term plan might be moved up in the near future if the commissioners decide to do a multi-million dollar bond issue in order to get that construction completed.
Eight years ago, the county rolled over an earlier bond to replace fracture critical bridges – the amount was $6 million and the last payment will be made in April.
The commissioners have been talking about reissuing so more bridges can be replaced.
“Right now, on the six-year program, there are eight bridges listed and if we go forward with the bond issue these would be the first ones we do,” York County Highway Superintendent Harvey Keim told the commissioners during this year’s one- and six-year hearing.
“We’ve already paid some engineering fees on these, in preparation of bonding for these projects,” said Commissioner Bill Bamesberger. “Hopefully, we can address this in April after our last bond payment is made.”
The estimated cost of replacing these bridges would be about $4,495,000.
It was also noted that these bridges would not be replaced with box culverts – this would be a situation where old bridges would be replaced with new bridges.
The bridges highlighted for replacement are the following:
• On Road E, between Roads 11 and 12 for an estimated cost of $230,000
• On Road 10 between Roads T and U for an estimated cost of $740,000
• On Road U between Roads 8 and 9 for an estimated cost of $655,000
• On Road 2 between Roads U and V for an estimated cost of $320,000
• On Road O between Roads M450 and M550 for an estimated cost of $650,000
• On Road 11 between Roads S and T for an estimated cost of $550,000
• On Road 20 between Roads V and W for an estimated cost of $625,000
• On Road 20 between Roads W and X for an estimated cost of $625,000
When it comes to future asphalt work, Keim said he has had certain stretches evaluated but he’s not received those recommendations back yet. He noted that areas of asphalt on Road 4 need some attention.
There was discussion about work to be done on Road 22 by Benedict, as the truck traffic in that area will continue to increase due to the construction of a new poultry-raising facility in that area. Keim said chip seal work for that road had been included in the one-year plan.
Commissioner Bamesberger said he received a call from the York County Development Corporation in which he was told the Benedict Village Board “has some concerns about everyone is going to pay for the upkeep of Road 22.
“From Highway 81 to the southeast corner of the village of Benedict, that is the state’s responsibility,” Bamesberger said. “From Benedict to the west the five miles to Road H, that is the county’s. The village’s concern was who would help pay to take care of Road 22 inside the Benedict village limits. Their concern is all the semis going over that stretch in town. The road is going to get torn up and it will take some maintenance. They have some concerns.”
York County Surveyor Rex Heiden said the town’s original plat only encompasses the north half of that road – “I don’t know if the south half of the road was annexed in or not.”
Commissioner Kurt Bulgrin said in looking at GIS images, it appeared Benedict’s corporate limits went to the north side of that road, and not to the south.
“That issue might make the decision for you,” Heiden said.
“We could look into this and then go back and amend (the one-year plan) to include this road work,” Bulgrin said.
Bulgrin also asked if the railroad tracks through Benedict are even used, with most of the officials saying they didn’t think they were still used in town. They will reach out to find that information – as Bulgrin suggested if they weren’t used any longer in town, maybe some talks would need to take place to have those tracks removed.
“But as far as this Road 22 issue, I think maybe this is something we should work on with Benedict,” Bulgrin said.
Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier agreed, also suggesting that a conversation be held with Central Valley Ag regarding the need for the tracks, as well having Heiden look into whose jurisdiction is the road itself inside corporate limits. “I think this would be a good gesture, we could work with them and help if we can.”
“Once we get information on their corporate limits, we could have an idea of what we can go to them with,” Bamesberger added.
No one from the public spoke for or against any projects and no one was in attendance to gather information about the one-year or six-year projects.
Included in this year’s one-year plan are the following:
• Clean ditches, gravel Road Q between Roads 21 and 22 for an estimated cost of $30,000
• Clean ditches, replace culverts and gravel Road 6 between Roads B and E for an estimated cost of $90,000
• Clean ditches, replace culverts and gravel Road 10 between Highway 81 and Road M for an estimated cost of $18,000
• Clean ditches and gravel Road E between Roads 11 and 13 for an estimated cost of $48,000
• Clean ditches, gravel west half mile of Road 22 between Roads U and V for an estimated cost of $20,000
• Clean ditches, gravel Road 22 between Roads S and T for an estimated cost of $25,000
• Clean ditches, replace culverts and gravel Road 24 between Roads Q and R for an estimated cost of $20,000
• Clean ditches and gravel Road U550 between Roads V and W for an estimated cost of $30,000
• Clean ditches, replace culverts and gravel Road T between Roads 5 and 6 for an estimated cost of $15,000
• Clean ditches, replace culverts and gravel Road C between Roads 22 and 23 for an estimated cost of $45,000
• Chip seal Road 22 between Road H to Benedict and from Highway 81 to Road N for an estimated cost of $147,000
• Replace bridge on Road K between Roads 5 and 6 for an estimated cost of $265,000
• Clean ditches and rock Road H between Roads 22 and 23 for an estimated cost of $190,000.
“I’d like to see us go forward with this rather than work on flood damaged roads like we did this last year,” Keim said. “Yes, that took all our time, but we were still a lot better off than other places in Nebraska this last year.”