Battle Creek North

Battle Creek North is about a half-mile of asphalt between the Elkhorn River and Highway 275. It was scheduled for asphalt resurfacing that would have begun July 8. 

MADISON — It’s going to take longer to get completed, but a road damaged in the March flooding near Battle Creek looks like it now will get a permanent fix.

Dick Johnson, the Madison County highway superintendent who also oversees road projects and assists with engineering work, visited with officials last week in Lincoln with the Nebraska Department of Transportation to discuss the project.

Battle Creek North is about a half-mile of asphalt between the Elkhorn River and Highway 275. It was scheduled for asphalt resurfacing that would have begun July 8.

The road needs to be prepared for the contractor to resurface it, including hauling in 80,000 to 100,000 yards of dirt to repair holes in the road from flooding.

Instead of just putting a two-inch overlay over the road as the contract originally called for, the county now hopes to mill off the asphalt, lower the road bed by about eight inches because it is located in a floodway, put the millings back, then put on eight inches of concrete. This is all subject to negotiation with the contractor, Johnson said.

The contract called for about $250,000 of asphalt, but hopes are that it could be put toward concrete instead with the county paying some additional cost for the upgrade, he said.

The contractor is M.E. Collins, which also will be repairing the bridge over the Elkhorn River just south of Stanton. That bridge project would have a higher priority, so the completion of the Battle Creek project likely will take place in late fall with the concrete overlay completed in early spring.

The road repair will include closing the road temporarily to repair the bridge, then again when the concrete is poured next spring.

The renegotiated contract could probably be completed with a change order, Johnson said.

Millings already have been put in the bigger holes by the county to make it so it can be traveled, but it will require more of them on the road and shoulders so it lasts the winter.

ELSEWHERE DOWNSTREAM in the county, the bridge over the Elkhorn River on the Stanton and Madison County line remains closed. Known as the Grandview Bridge, it is out primarily because the south approach to it is being washed out, there are trees hung up around it and the road is in poor shape.

Madison and Stanton County share maintenance responsibilities for that road, which is also known as Channel Road and turns into Grandview  Avenue.

Johnson said Madison County will send out requests for proposals to firms to provide engineering for the project, then put it out for bids.

The county is also looking to add other RFPs for bridge work to establish a timeline for repairs. With many counties also having other repairs, contractors are busy and there are no definite timelines for many projects.

Ron Schmidt, county board chairman, said he discovered another bridge that has an approach washing out earlier this week.

“I don’t think it is terribly serious, but these things just keep showing up,” Schmidt said. “We had a culvert that showed up the other day that was washed out. You can’t see it until it happens.”

The Madison County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday.

Members present: Chairman Ron Schmidt, Troy Uhlir and Christian Ohl.

Others in attendance: Anne Pruss, county clerk; Richard Johnson, county highway superintendent; about 20 from the public and three reporters.

Meeting lasted: Three hours, nine minutes.

Agenda highlights

* Acknowledged receipt of the official bond of Coleen K. Bressler as interim treasurer for Northeast Community College.

* Acknowledged receipt of the continuation certificate for the official bond of Ransom Roman as trustee and clerk of Norfolk Sanitary District.

*Appointed Stephen Sunderman to serve as the Madison County representative on the Norfolk Area Economic Development Council for a three-year term from July 1 through June 30, 2022.

* Appointed Kenneth Biermann to serve as a member of Madison County Veterans Service Committee for a five-year term from July 1, through June 30, 2024.

* Approved an agreement with Moyer & Moyer to provide legal representation of indigent criminal defendants for cases in which the public defender’s office is unable to provide representation due to conflict.

* Approved vacating a portion of 829th Road between 549th Avenue and 550th Avenue. Schmidt recused himself from the action because of a conflict of interest. Uhlir, the vice chairman, led the proceedings. Uhlir and Ohl voted to abandon the road, which will include a turn-around area, with much of the land donated by Schmidt, whose land is next to it.

* Voted to keep open 548th Avenue between 834th Road and 835th Road. Commissioners have received comment since a public hearing was held on it and decided not to vacate it at this time. It may be considered again later.

* Approved a substitution of pledged securities with Pinnacle Bank of Madison.

* Canceled a check payable to Vic’s Engine Service.

* Received the annual report of Madison County Library Association.

* Announced the Nebraska Strong Recovery Project is seeking to assist people.

* Approved an Emergency Management Agency Interlocal Agreement with Region 11 following a presentation.

* Reviewed office budgets and fund balances and approved transfer of budget authority for two funds that will be short of funds at the end of the fiscal year.

* Reviewed written reports and processed claims.

In other news

CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump did not oppose the deal that Syrian Kurdish-led forces struck with Russia and the Syrian government to protect them against Turkey’s offensive, the force’s commander said Thursday, as his fighters battled a new push by Ankara-backed forc…