Bridge work east of Hadar

WHILE THE Madison County commissioners provided an update on repairs to the Old Hadar Road at their meeting Tuesday, work also is underway on the bridge east of Hadar that collapsed as a result of the historic flooding in March. This aerial photo shows the status of the bridge as work began earlier this week.

MADISON — The suggested speed limit and truck ban on Old Hadar Road became official Tuesday.

The Madison County board of commissioners voted to lower the speed limit on the county’s 2-mile portion of the asphalt road to 40 miles per hour and prohibit trucks from using it.

It doesn’t appear that Pierce County will be prohibiting truck traffic on its mile portion, especially for those associated with farm operations.

Madison County Sheriff Todd Volk said Madison County would encourage trucks engaged in farming to use gravel roads as much as possible instead of Old Hadar Road.

The sheriff and commissioners said truck traffic on the road must be kept to a minimum or the county will be back in the same situation it was previously with the road being destroyed. If that occurs, the county will have no choice but to close it, they said.

Volk said he and his deputies would patrol the road and he has spoken to the Nebraska State Patrol, which also has its Norfolk headquarters in the area and will assist.

“We just need to keep it (traffic) slowed down for safety reasons,” Volk said.

Commissioner Ron Schmidt said he also would like to see traffic stay right of center on the road. Schmidt said he is getting complaints that traffic swerves over the center to avoid potholes, then nearly hits oncoming traffic from the other direction. There have been some close calls, he said.

Dick Johnson, Madison County road superintendent, said the county could consider putting up signs and then lowering the speed limit to 20 mph near the bumps in the road.

Plans are to reconstruct Old Hadar Road, but it won’t happen this summer as originally planned. The work will need to include rebuilding the base down more than 5 feet, so it will occur next year.

“There’s just nothing but muck underneath,” Johnson said.

When it is permanently repaired, the base will have to be widened as well so the road can have shoulders, which should help with drainage.

IN OTHER PARTS of Madison County, the flow and water levels in the Elkhorn River and other creeks are damaging some bridges.

Schmidt announced that the county has been watching Coolidge Bridge southeast of Norfolk since Saturday because water is damaging an approach.

Another bridge on the Stanton and Madison County line has been closed because water is whirlpooling around it and eating away the approach.

In other news

Fork Fest, which was started four years ago by the Norfolk Arts Center, featured an array of food vendors in the ever-popular food truck rumble in Johnson Park on Friday evening. Festival participants could buy a rumble pass to allow them to experience the food being offered.