Local News

County explains road plan

A structurally deficient bridge on Road 5200 between X and Y is one of three that will be partially funded (55 percent) by the County Bridge Match program. The bridge match program was discussed during the Thayer County Road Department’s One and Six Year Plan Feb. 10.

The Thayer County Road Department held a public hearing Feb. 10 on its One and Six Year Plan for the county’s roads and bridges. 

The county will also receive assistance from the County Bridge Match Program to provide 55 percent of funding for the replacement of three structurally deficient bridges. 

To qualify for funding, the county submitted a proposal to the state for consideration and received points. The proposal was for $354,409. The state’s share will be $194,925. 

Road superintendent Roger Hofts said the county’s share of the cost may be covered by the Federal Funds Purchase Program, which is a stark contrast from the old federal aid program. 

“With the old federal aid program, you didn’t have a lot of say on how the bridge was built,” Hofts said.

Roads and bridges on the list for the One Year Plan are (culvert repair applies to several locations): 

•Road N between 6000 and 6100

•Between Roads N and P on 6100

•Road M between 4900 and 5000

•Road J between 5100 and 5200

•Between Roads G and F on 6100

•Between Roads B and C on 6200

•Near Road X on 5200

•Road V near 5000

Roads and bridges on the list for the Six Year Plan are: 

•Road H between 6000 and 6100

•Between Roads H and G on 6800

•Between Roads F and G on 6700

•Between Roads F and G on 6100

•Between Roads B and C on 6200

•Near Road Z and 5600

•Near Road W between 5800 and 5900

•Between Roads R and O on 5000. 

 Hofts also pointed out the county is unique in several areas, such as building its own deck slabs for bridges and pumping gravel from its own pit. 

Traditionally, the gravel pit has saved the county $500,000 per year for its 800 miles of gravel roads. Hofts compared the county’s system to Fillmore and Saline, which pays over a million to secure gravel. 

But the pit is currently pumping below the target level. County employees are investing more hours to pump less gravel.

Too much fine sand is coming up instead of gravel, Hofts said. 

“We’ve probably got five different locations and options we’ve looked at,” Hofts said. “Nothing is decided, but we are getting closer.” 

The county purchased the pit in 1998.

Hofts described the road department: 20 full time employees and one part time employee, which includes himself and a secretary, 10 blade route operators, two gravel pit operators, two gravel truck drivers and five other employees for all other road department functions, such as bridge work.  

Thayer County Commissioner David Bruning added the county has received the final payment from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency regarding the flooding in 2015. 

“We’ve received everything and more than we expected, so it was well worth the pursuit,” Bruning said.