$2.4 million bridge replacement project in northwestern Lancaster County

There’s a major project underway to make a school commute safer. It’s a $2.5 million bridge replacement in northwestern Lancaster County.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - There’s a major project underway to make a school commute safer. It’s a $2.4 million bridge replacement in northwestern Lancaster County.

The bridge was damaged in the 2015 flooding and has had to be repaired several times since then.

Somewhere between 1,400 and 1,800 cars travel the bridge every day, including students and families trying to get to Raymond Central. The Lancaster County Engineer, Pam Dingman, said the repair was critical to safety.

Right now, crews are hard at work pile driving at the construction site.

“We’re really anchoring this bridge on either side to make sure, you don’t want your bridge to move,” Dingman said. “Pile driving day is always super exciting out on the construction site.”

The bridge has been under construction since march and is set to be completed later this year.

“This is a critical farm-to-market and school route for northern Lancaster County,” Dingman said. “We’re really looking forward to stabilizing this bridge.”

The bridge was critically damaged by flooding in 2015, and has gone through three stabilization projects. But the county engineer found it was still unsafe, especially for the people who use it to get to Raymond Central. The county is contributing $1 million to the repair.

“All the water came down this drainage way on the backside of the bridge,” Dingman said. “It started taking the material from the creek beside the bridge. We probably came within three to four hours of losing this bridge in that flood. Since then we’ve tried to stabilize the embankments on either side of the bridge. We haven’t been successful with that and that’s why we’re here now replacing the bridge.”

Agnew Road is the only paved road for five miles that leads to Raymond Central. Interim Superintendent Lynn Johnson said the construction is inconvenient and forces their younger drivers to take gravel routes, but will be worth it in the end.

“We’ll get through it, just a lot more dusty roads and we need to encourage our kids as always to drive carefully when they’re out on gravel when they normally wouldn’t be,” Johnson said. “It’s well worth inconvenience when you can be more safe.”

The project is set to be completed by November.

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