Washington County Highway Supt. Bill Hansel gave the Washington County Board of Supervisors updates on three large roads projects in the county during the board's meeting on Tuesday.
Hansel said he has been in contact with FEMA and the State of Nebraska about next steps for two projects on County Road 34. He also said the west exit of County Road 32, also known as the "Calhoun cutoff," onto state Highway 133 is planned to open in several weeks, though he said he couldn't name a specific date in case of unforeseen circumstances impacting multiple contractors work.
"We're just adjusting things so there's always progress otherwise one of the companies would have to wait for the other one," Hansel said.
Work on the "Calhoun cutoff" includes dirt work by Japp Construction and the construction of two box culverts by M.E. Collins in preparation for paving of the 3.2 mile-stretch of road by Cedar Valley Paving. Paving may begin in October, Hansel said.
Cedar Valley Paving was awarded the $3.9 million bid to complete road from state Highway 133 to County Road P35 in July 2019.
Hansel said M.E. Collins was nearly finished with a box culvert west of CR P35 as of Tuesday. He said once the company is finished they will return to lay two tubes near another box culvert near County Road 39 that was already complete.
Once M.E. Collins returns to the second box culvert, Hansel said Japp Construction will move to the western part of the "Calhoun cutoff" to complete dirt work. Japp Construction was previously completing dirt work on the eastern end of the road.
Once dirt work is completed, Hansel said that section of road would be opened and he would be in contact with residents in the area to let them know when the exit is open. Hansel said the east exit of the road would then be closed so M.E. Collins can lay the two tubes.
The board approved a change order associated with the project during the meeting in the amount of $20,137.05. The change order is for drainage tile that was installed in one of the box culverts due to saturated ground, Hansel said.
"We ended up having to drain tile both sides of that box the whole length," he said.
Hansel also discussed two projects on County Road 34 just east of Fort Calhoun.
Hansel said he has been in contact with FEMA to see when the county can bid a project to construct a portion of County Road 34 east of County Road 51 near Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge that was washed away by floodwater last year.
"Hopefully, we can get that bid this fall," Hansel said.
In May, Hansel said FEMA could help pay about 80 percent of the project.
The section of road that FEMA will help fund repairs for contains about a hole about 100 feet in length and about 17.5 feet deep.
Another section of CR 34 west of CR 51 was also impacted by floodwaters. That section of road was under construction by Sibbernsen Excavating of Valley to repair part of the road that was eroding due to an unstable ditch. The section under construction by Sibbernsen would not be funded through FEMA, but through the state because of jurisdictional differences on CR 34 east and west of CR 51.
Hansel said Tuesday that he has been in contact with the state and is waiting to hear how much of the reconstruction of that section of road would cost since assisting funds would only pay to build up to pre-flood conditions. Since construction by Sibbernsen was not complete, Hansel said pre-flood conditions are still being determined.