Red tape holds up new bridges

A replacement for the Platte River bridge is being held up by red tape. (Chris Bristol/Fremont Tribune) Chris Bristol

An main with the Nebraska Department of Roads shelp replacingan ailing bridge over the Platte River just south of Fremont isbeing held up by a adjust in the method the U.S. Military Corps ofEngineers wants the bridge to be developed.

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The Platte River bridge on U.S. Highway 77 had been reserved tobe reinserted through building and construction of a brand-new bridge just east of thepresent one to start this year.


But Tim Weander, district engineer of Nebraska Department ofRoads District 2, sassist the begin of that building and construction has actually been puton organize until DOR staff deserve to gain some direction from the Corps ofEngineers.


He defined his problems around the bridge’s security wereintensified one day when he was organized up on his drive to the stateresources bereason a item of the bridge’s roadway had fallen out.


“I gain nervous driving across that bridge,” he sassist. “I have toexecute it twice a day eexceptionally day during the session. The bridge is notsafe, and also we should make some noise to let people know thatreplacing this bridge needs to be made a higher priority.”


“We’re watching the deck on a consistent basis to make sure thatit’s safe for travel,” Weander said. “The deck is really the onlyworry. The deck is the worry bereason of the age of the framework.The bridge’s substructure and superstructure are in good form.


“The bridge is in the department regimen book for this year, butit’s being delayed based on environmental involves and also floodmeans. Idon’t know as soon as building and construction will certainly actually start currently. We’re stilltrying to work with ecological concerns.”


The biggest reason for the delay in replacing the bridge builtin 1957 is the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers isn’t allowing the DORto develop the new bridge using the exact same construction platdevelop systemit has provided also approximately last year.

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“The way we’ve constantly constructed bridges is by making use of acausemethod, where a short-term island is developed where crews have the right to construct afunctioning platdevelop,” Weander said, including the temporary island wouldstretch halfmethod throughout the river for the first fifty percent of the bridgeto be develop and then rerelocated via a new short-lived island also made onthe other half of the river for the second half of the bridge to beconstructed.


“That was always apshowed,” he sassist. “We put this into ourprogram thinking that we could usage that very same technique. Then we gotindevelopment from the Corps that they would certainly not enable a causeway forthis bridge. We’re still trying to work-related through the Corps for find outwhat the appropriate building and construction approach need to be.


“Anvarious other option is to build a short-lived bridge to develop the newbridge,” Weander ongoing. “Then we would certainly have to build anothershort-lived bridge to rerelocate the existing bridge.”


If DOR is forced to develop short-lived bridges to build a newbridge and remove the current one, the in its entirety price would most likely beboosted by at least $6 million from the original $16 millionestimated price of construction, he shelp.


“We’ve had actually to go earlier to rearchitecture this to view what would be abetter alternative,” he sassist. “We’re trying to acquire the the majority of costreliable means to execute this. This is a priority for us.”


“Keep in mind that the existing bridge must remain in servicetill web traffic is on a new bridge,” he sassist. “It will take around twoyears to construct a new bridge. I simply desire human being to understandthat. A lot of that hregarding perform with the length of the bridge. Plus,tright here are times once you can’t occupational in the river because ofeco-friendly concerns: Nesting seasons for birds and pallidsturgeon fish spawning seaboy. Also, tright here are some migratory birdsthat we have to watch for, too.”


New Federal Emergency Management Agency floodway requirementscan force a brand-new bridge to be developed 3 feet higher than thecurrent one.

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Weander said those requirements want more clearance between thebase of the bridge’s roadway and also the height of the river.


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The Nebraska Department of Roads will certainly hold an open up residence stylepublic hearing from 5 7 p.m. April 6 at Washington ElementarySchool concerning …


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A replacement for the Platte River bridge is being organized up by red tape. (Chris Bristol/Fremont Tribune)