County Line Road

A road closed sign marks where County Line Road should begin south of state Highway 91.

A road destroyed by March flooding will finally be fixed.

The Washington County Board of Supervisors accepted a bid Tuesday to repair County Line Road, which is located south of state Highway 91 near Nickerson.

KRW Construction of Blair, which offered the only bid, was awarded the project for $397,935. The expected start date is Sept. 23 with a completion date of Oct. 18.

An engineer's estimate for the project was $321,364.

“I actually figured it would be a little higher,” Highway Superintendent Bill Hansel said.

While it is a significant cost to fix the road, which includes a 48-foot deep crater that needs to be filled, Supervisor Steve Kruger, District 6-Arlington, noted the county would be reimbursed a portion of the cost by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

FEMA will pay 75 percent of the project, while NEMA will pay 12.5 percent. The county will pay the remaining 12.5 percent, or about $50,000.

“Eventually, we'll get the money,” Kruger said.

Two families live along the road, which is approximately one-third of a mile long, and had not yet been able to return to their homes.

Steve Harshman, 1585 County Line Road, continued to express his frustrations with the process. He offered board members a timeline, which included his contact with Hansel and the roads department since March about the repairs.

Hansel previously told the board that his crews would have to wait until repairs on Highway 91 were complete 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.

Instead, Hansel opted to seek requests for proposal from engineering firms and later bids from contractors.

Harshman contended the road could have been repaired months ago if the county had sought bids right away.

“This process did not need to get to this point,” he said.

Carolyn Heuerman, 1555 County Line Road, expressed her gratitude to the board.

“I have been upset that it hasn't been fixed, but I'm very happy that it's going to be fixed,” she said. “Thank you.”

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