Old Hadar Road repair work

IT WILL BE next week sometime before Old Hadar Road reopens. The damage on the surface of the roads didn't come close to showing the damage underneath as seen in this photo. County crews finally received some dry weather this week to dig deep to establish a solid base for it.

MADISON — If the weather cooperates, it looks like Old Hadar Road could reopen around the middle of next week.

Troy Uhlir, a Madison County commissioner, said county crews have been working on the road this week and have had to dig deeper than anticipated to reach good soil under the broken patches.

The three-mile stretch of road between Norfolk and Hadar includes two miles in Madison County and one mile in Pierce County.

After all the work is completed to prepare Madison County’s two miles for resurfacing, it will be overlaid next week with hot mix.

“This is a temporary fix,” Uhlir said. “If we end up with a bunch of truck traffic on that road, it will destroy it and it will get closed again.”

The road will only be open to local traffic. That’s defined as Hadar residents and those who live along the road itself.

“If you live in Pierce or north, we really, really want you to take Highway 98,” Uhlir said. “There’s going to be enough traffic with the Hadar traffic alone.”

The speed limit on the road will be lowered to 45 mph. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to have it enforced.

Uhlir said it is important to get that road open as soon as possible because it is needed for emergency services, including ambulance traffic.

Commissioner Christian Ohl said repairing the road was a bit of an unknown. Once crews began digging into the holes after they dried, they discovered the base was worse than anticipated.

“I can’t hardly imagine the frustration of the people who use it,” Ohl said. “It’s a huge frustration. We appreciate all the calls and concerns, and part of the delay has been getting the hot mix crews (in the region) to pour over it.”

At some point in late summer, a permanent fix is scheduled, which will include replacing everything, re-establishing the base and making it concrete.

County officials said they will be meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives on May 23 for an on-site visit.

Dick Johnson, Madison County highway superintendent, and other county officials set up the FEMA meeting during a phone call last week.

Uhlir said he is optimistic that FEMA will be able to pay for at least some of the overtime costs that the county has been paying to road crews working on county roads because of the flood.

AT TUESDAY’S county board meeting, commissioners announced that:

* South 37th Street west of Norfolk has opened, which should help alleviate traffic on 61st Street. It still needs to be seeded, but that work will be handled with traffic.

* North 37th Street near Lutheran High Northeast is also expected to be covered with hot mix in the coming weeks after school is out for the summer.

* Three miles of 61st Street will be resurfaced with hot mix, hopefully within a few weeks.

*836th Avenue south of Norfolk has a one-mile stretch that it is in poor condition. It will have some work done to prepare it, then will get covered in hot mix. Hopes are to get it completed when hot mix crews are in the area next week.

* Benjamin Avenue widening west of Highway 35 into Norfolk should be bid next month. One of the property owners along the road has agreed to trade dirt from their property in exchange for an alternate access, which should benefit both. During construction, that portion of Benjamin Avenue is expected to be closed, which will make construction safer and quicker.

In other news

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A fight is emerging over whether a son of Aretha Franklin could be put in charge of the late singer’s estate after a 2014 handwritten will was found under cushions in her suburban Detroit home.

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) — Two new bridges are planned for a flood-prone highway low spot near a Missouri River bridge that connects southeast Nebraska with southwest Iowa, an Iowa highway official said.

VERDEL — Finding old U.S. flags inside the walls of a Verdel house that was being reconstructed — after suffering damage during the historic March flooding — came as a surprise to everyone involved.