On Wednesday, the Gage County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an agreement that would provide 55 percent of estimated funds to replace two bridges in Gage County.
Gage County applied for the County Bridge Match Program from the Nebraska Department of Transportation to help replace a couple of bridges included in the 2018 road plan, which was also approved on Wednesday.
Without state assistance, the two bridges, one near Liberty and the other near Island Grove, would cost an estimated $270,400, but with the state’s assistance, the cost for the county was brought down to around $120,000.
Galen Engel, Gage County highway superintendent, said that the two timber bridges will be replaced with culverts. The cost of the Liberty replacement—which will include triple 120-inch culverts—was estimated at $138,800 and the Island Grove replacement—for triple 108-inch culverts—would cost around $131,600.
Mark Mainelli of Mainelli Wagner and Associates, who has provided engineering for the county, said that the state will pay for 55 percent of the cost, which will probably cover the culverts. The county will pay the remaining 45 percent, covering labor, equipment and incidentals.
Gage County Board Chairman Myron Dorn said that the benefit of the program to Gage County will be enormous.
“Here's $148,000 now not coming out of our budget,” Dorn said. “It's huge.”
Mainelli said the county will be looking to apply for more projects in the near future.
“They've got $40 million to spend and they're running out of time,” he said. “So, the next go round, I suspect will be bigger because they only have so much time to spend the money. We'd better get out there.”