Highway 30-91 update

Construction crews work on Highway 91 on June 7.

After being closed for 91 days, state Highway 91 between Fontanelle and Nickerson was partially opened Wednesday.

The highway will be fully opened Friday, said Tim Weander, district engineer for the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT).

Until then, Weander said there will be one lane of traffic open with flagging operations during work hours in order for crews to work on the shoulders.

Highway 91 has been closed since March 15 after floodwaters caused significant damage to the pavement. The cost of reconstruction was $1.8 million.

Weander said the NDOT is happy to have the highway open and thanked crews for their work.

"We did the best we could to get it open," Weander said, noting contractors weren't offered incentives to get the work done quickly. "We said get it open as soon as possible."

Highway 30 work continues

While NDOT officials are still hoping to have Highway 30 open Friday, Weander said Tuesday evening's raining could delay the opening to the weekend, possibly Saturday.

He said crews were putting asphalt down Tuesday before the rain arrived.

"It all depends on how much rain occurred on that site and whether we could immediately go back in there and go to work or if some drying out or waiting for the subgrade to dry was necessary," Weander said Wednesday morning.

Even with the highway expected to open later this week, Marv Lech, district construction engineer for the NDOT, said construction work will continue along Highway 30, with crews from Omni Engineering of Omaha finishing up work that began last year, as well as shoulder work and other repairs needed as a result of flooding.

Lech said there was much more damage to the area than what could be seen.

"In some places, the road was washed out completely and in some areas flooding undermined the shoulders and some of the regular roadway," Lech said.

NDOT officials had hoped to open the highways much sooner, but Mother Nature had other plans.

"With the rainy season we've had, it's been a real challenge," Lech said.

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