County Line Road

A road closed sign marks where County Line Road should begin south of state Highway 91. The county road, which is maintained by the Washington County Roads Department, has not yet been repaired due to lack of dirt, according to Highway Superintendent Bill Hansel.

Carolyn Heuerman just wants to go home.

More than four months after historic flooding along the Elkhorn River, the Dodge County resident still doesn't have a road to lead her there.

Heuerman's house, which she shares with husband, Don, is at 1555 County Line Road, just south of state Highway 91, which was severely damaged during the flood.

County Line Road, which is maintained by the Washington County Roads Department, was all but destroyed. A deep crater filled with water remains where the road once stood.

Highway 91 was repaired and re-opened in June, but work has yet to begin on the southern portion of the county road.

“There has been no progress on that road. Nothing,” Heuerman told the Washington County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. “We were just basically wondering when it was going to happen.”

The Heuermans are not alone in their plight.

“There are two families that are displaced,” she said.

The Heuermans' neighbor, Steve Harshman, 1585 County Line Road, lives further south along the road.

“Right now, life is pretty much on hold,” he told the Enterprise last month.

Heuerman said both she and her husband and Harshman could return to their homes if the road was repaired.

“OPPD will not put our power back in until we have a road,” she said.

Heuerman said their homes must be able to be reached by rescue personnel in order for power to be restored to the properties.

Highway Superintendent Bill Hansel said his crew had to wait until repairs on the highway were completed before the road could be assessed.

Initially, Hansel thought his crews could complete the work. However, he estimated the project would take 2 1/2 to 3 months, utilizing most of the county's resources.

“Nothing else would get done (in the county),” he told the board.

Instead, Hansel opted to seek requests for proposal (RFP) from engineering firms to design the project. The board accepted two RFPs during the meeting.

Also complicating the issue is the need for dirt.

“Even when we bid this out, they may not be able to get dirt close,” Hansel said. “It needs to be suitable dirt for the fill. The sand and everything that washed in, you don't want to use that.”

Hansel said dirt could be hauled from a borrow pit along U.S. Highway 30, but he said trucking companies indicated they want about $150 an hour to transport it to Highway 91.

“How many loads do you expect?” Supervisor Lisa Kramer, District 2-Kennard, said.

“A lot,” Hansel said. “It's just easier to put it that way.”

Hansel estimated it could be two weeks before design plans could be finalized and a month before the project is let for bids.

“I just want some progress,” Heuerman said.

Board members were sympathetic to Heuerman's situation.

“We took action today to take the next step on it,” Chairman Steve Dethlefs, District 1-Fort Calhoun, said. “We're aware of it and we'll try to expedite it as much as we can.”

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