New funding for bridge work through a state program totals $8.5 million.
The County Bridge Match Program is covering $4 million of the cost.
Mark Traynowicz, state bridge engineer with the Nebraska Department of Transportation, says many bridges are being replaced by culverts.
“Those things, you don’t have the guardrail. As a driver on the road, you don’t really notice they’re there. You don’t have the weight restrictions,” Traynowicz tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The program will work on 66 bridges. Six of those will be removed completely.
“If you can either take out a road or if you can remove a bridge, and not have a crossing there, but they have another crossing that’s a mile away, you have to look at the cost,” he explains.
He says repair, replacement, or removal decisions were made by the counties.
The match program funds 55 percent of eligible bridge construction cost with counties providing a 45 percent match.
This is the second year of the County Bridge Match Program, which Traynowicz says has a big impact, even if it is starting off slowly.
“We want to make sure we’re doing things the right way,” he says. “We want to make sure the counties are happy with the things we’re doing, so they can build bridges the way they want to build bridges.”
Most of the funding for the program comes from an increase in the gas tax approved in 2015.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:38]