Warmer weather gives Lancaster County Engineering chance to keep working

Published: Jan. 9, 2020 at 6:19 PM CST
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A normal January for Lancaster County Engineering looks like plowing snow, spreading sand and making emergency repairs. Abnormal is the word county engineers are using to describe this winter season.

Milder temps means the Engineering Department staff isn't contained to their offices like usual. It means construction is happening later and later into the winter season, bridges are being opened earlier than expected and trucks can deliver rock and gravel to county sites longer. Considering the devastating impacts of last winter and the flooding on county roads, the weather is a welcomed break.

"These aren't projects we'd normally be able to continue on in the winter," said Ron Bohaty, the Road Maintenance Superintendent at Lancaster County Engineering Department. "It feels like we're getting a boost to be able to get caught up a little bit, so that we can start next spring with some projects that are already planned and designed."

A boost, indeed. One bridge has opened since Thanksgiving, and there are 2 being worked on currently. There are 15 bridges closed in the county. Bohaty said if they could get another stretch of 3 to 4 more days of good weather, a bridge south of Sprague could be opened within a week.

"It's completely unheard of to be able to work on this type of structure and do this type of dirt work," said Bohaty. "The frost on the ground is really minimal so it's allowed us to continue packing the soil and get the project finished."

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