A working group is developing a system for doling out $40 million for county bridge improvements across Nebraska.
The County Bridge Match Program comes from the Transportation Innovation Act, which was signed into law April 18.
Mark Traynowicz, state bridge engineer with Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR), is part of the working group.
He says the emphasis should be on innovation.
“We don’t want to continue to do things like we always have,” Traynowicz tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We’d like to find ways to make things more efficient.”
Other members of the working group include: Larry Dix, Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) Executive Director; Steve Riehle, Hall County Engineer and President of the Nebraska Association of County Engineers, County Highway Superintendents and County Surveyors (an affiliate of NACO); Chris Jacobsen, Custer County Highway Superintendent; Steve Mika, Saunders County Highway Superintendent; Kevin Barta, Knox County Highway Superintendent; Tim Ryan, Keith County Highway Superintendent; and Dennis Wilson, Sarpy County Engineer and member of NDOR Innovation Task Force.
Traynowicz says the group will consider a lot of input when creating the distribution method.
“We’re really looking forward to working with the counties and figuring out how to make things better, not only just for this program, I’d like to see this thing continue into the future,” he says.
The program criteria and guidelines will be submitted to the legislature by December first. The County Bridge Match Program is set to end in 2023.
One in five county bridges in Nebraska is in poor shape, according to NDOR.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:42]