MADISON — One of the bridges still not in operation since the March flooding is the Elkhorn River bridge southeast of Norfolk on the Stanton and Madison County line.
Dick Johnson, Madison County highway superintendent, provided updates to the Madison County commissioners on that bridge and other projects still not completed since the March flood. Not enough funds and labor are the primary reasons for delays.
Johnson said he anticipates that Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives would be in the county this month to look at some of these projects.
Johnson said he would go with FEMA to discuss the repairs that need to be completed on the bridge and road. Commissioners said one of them would like to be notified when FEMA is here so they can accompany them on the assessment. The bridge also is known as the Grandview Bridge.
The county hopes to get funds from FEMA and will need to proceed on the project, regardless what FEMA indicates. The county will document all its work and expenses, Johnson said.
Ron Schmidt, Madison County board chairman, said the county can’t wait indefinitely for FEMA to decide if it will fund the project, as that road and bridge needs to be repaired and opened.
Commissioners also discussed Old Hadar Road, which was closed for a period after the flood. It was reopened to traffic in May, but trucks are prohibited and the speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph.
The 3-mile stretch from Norfolk to Hadar includes 2 miles that Madison County maintains and 1 mile that Pierce County maintains.
Commissioner Troy Uhlir said one of the areas in Madison County has been worn through again, but the crews are trying to repair it and keep it open.
Uhlir said while law enforcement does patrol Old Hadar Road, there are a lot of trucks traveling on it that are wearing it out.
Johnson said work is scheduled to take place on Madison County’s portion of Old Hadar Road in November.
“As I’ve been telling you guys for a while, I think it needs a complete reconstruction,” he said. “We are patching it, but there is nothing but muck under there.”
Uhlir agreed, saying the muck goes “5 feet deep.”
Johnson said he envisions something will need to be done like digging out all the muck, mixing it with sand and then reconstructing it. It probably will need 8 to 9 inches of concrete, he said.
Commissioners said once Pierce County repairs the Hadar bridge on its portion of the road, Madison County will work to get its portions finished.
Later in the meeting, commissioners discussed various road projects and possible funding sources, including issuing bonds.
Based on what projects get prioritized and how much revenue is available, commissioners are considering whether to just permanently repair the worst mile this year, which would be the middle portion. Then next year, the county could repair the mile closest to Norfolk.
A final decision is expected to be made during later budget deliberations.