Two major highways leading into Washington County will be closed “indefinitely” following the flooding on the Elkhorn River, according to the county's emergency manager.
U.S. Highway 30 between Arlington and Fremont is missing a 500-foot piece of roadway, Washington County Emergency Manager Dan Douglas reported to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
“It's 40 to 50 feet deep where the roadway used to be,” he said.
Douglas said there is undermining of the road a quarter mile in each direction. He has also received reports of similar findings from Fremont.
State Highway 91 is also washed out, Douglas said.
“Basically, if you get to the bottom of Fontanelle hill on Highway 91, you better stop because if you go past that you're going to be in the muck at this point,” he said. “It goes on for an extended period where there is no ground, there is nothing.”
On Thursday, the Nebraska Department of Transportation announced contracts with companies to repair both highways.
Omni Engineering of Omaha has the existing repair and resurfacing contract and will perform immediate repairs on the Highway 30 between Fremont and Arlington. The work, the NDOT said, will include a road segment for full reconstruction.
The repair and resurfacing project will continue after repairs are completed and the highway is open to traffic.
Goree Excavating of Fremont has been awarded the contract to start repairs on Highway 91 between Nickerson and Fontanelle. This work also includes a road segment for full reconstruction, the state said.
Union Pacific is also working to repair the rail line between Arlington and Fremont. Douglas said a 24-hour operation has been ongoing since March 15.
“Side dumps have literally been lined up from downtown Arlington clear out to County Road 15 at points,” he said.
Douglas said the railroad requested every NDOT licensed truck operator to report to the area to help repair the line.
“They are bringing in boulders the size of me to rip rap to anything they can find to rebuild the line,” he said.
The line is washed out. No cargo trains have traveled down Highway 30 since the flood, Douglas said.