10.4.19 County Road 34.jpg

County Road 34, which was to be repaired nearly two years ago, remains under water due to flooding on the Missouri River.

A project to reconstruct a road in southeastern Washington County continues to be delayed due to flooding nearly two years after the bid for the project was accepted.

A portion of County Road 34, which runs east of Fort Calhoun, had been eroding due to an unstable ditch when the Washington County Board of Supervisors awarded a bid for the project to Sibbernsen Excavating of Valley on Oct. 10, 2017. The instability was caused when a farmer struck the ditch while clearing the ditch.

The project started on Nov. 1, 2017, and was originally planned to be completed by Sept. 15, 2018. But flooding last September and continued flooding since March has lengthened the project's timeline.

"It has been brought to a stand still," Bill Hansel said of the project's progress. "(The road) is still closed, so it will remain closed."

Hansel said no work has been completed since March when flooding from the Missouri River covered the road. He said the road is currently flooded.

In March, the Missouri River crested at 31.12 feet. In May, the river again rose above flood stage of 26.5 feet. As of noon Wednesday, the river was at 26.81 feet and is expected to remain above 25 feet until at least Oct. 14, the latest forecast provided by the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center said.

The project was also delayed last September due to flooding. The deadline was extended from Sept. 15, 2018, to Nov. 1, 2018. Hansel said the project timeline was extended again. He said any additional work that needs to be complete will be negotiated when floodwaters recede and the original project is complete.

The original bid for the project was $488,755. In 2016, the board accepted an insurance settlement of $347,150 to be used for the project.

In addition to CR 34, Hansel said CR 51 and CR P51, which also run east of Fort Calhoun, are also flooded. He said any future work by the roads department or outside bids for private company work for those two roads would not be done until flood waters recede.

"We will wait and see what damage is done and go from there," he said.

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