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Gage County’s road and bridge plan features several projects planned for the county in the coming years.

The County Board of Supervisors discussed the one and six-year road plans, which will be approved at a future meeting.

Gage County Highway Superintendent Galen Engel described the proposal to the board during Wednesday’s regular meeting.

“As far as the one and six-year plan, there are 12 projects carried over from the 2017 plan to the 2018 plan on the one year,” he said. “On the 2018 year plan, there’s a total of 29 projects. On the six-year plan, there’s a total of 30 projects.”

Board member Gary Lytle questioned why 12 projects scheduled for 2017 weren’t completed.

“We want to make sure that what we have on the one-year plan is legitimate one-year projects, as opposed to something that stays on there for 20 years,” Lytle said.

Engel explained that the projects in question weren’t completed for a variety of reasons, including delays in negotiating with the railroad or simply not having enough time.

Board member John Hill pointed out that legal fees to fight the looming Beatrice 6 case are also playing a role in some road projects not being completed.

“Our legal fees are up to $1.7 million,” he said. “If we hadn’t had those to pay out and the ongoing expenses we anticipate from that, some of these asphalt projects would be taken care of and done and we’d be looking ahead to the others.”

While some projects have been pushed back, board member Terry Jurgens added that crews have also taken advantage of a winter with relatively little snowfall.

“We’ve been lucky county-wise with the winter we’ve had,” he said. “Everything road-wise throughout the county is about as good as you can get for this time of year.”

Engel described four of the projects as large scale, and they include federal bridge match programs and work to a bridge on the blacktop highway north of Odell.

Work on the Odell blacktop is scheduled to begin April 2 and last approximately two months.

Engel said that most of the projects included on the one-year plan are small timber bridges that will be replaced with culverts.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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